The CDOT feels that the only way their new driving safety campaign will be a success is by throwing things in the open with the local community. This new conversation will include the local government, the marijuana industry, local law enforcement and even the people who don’t use cannabis.
Why have this campaign in the first place?
The goal is to create solutions for the issues created while using marijuana and driving.
CDOT had taken up this initiative because they feel that driving and using marijuana is a safety hazard and are shocked by the number of people who don’t think that it is.
And they have the numbers to prove that as well. 629 fatalities had been reported by the Colorado State Patrol last year, and a number of those drivers happened to be impaired ones.
Lucas Johnson, Colorado State patrol Trooper stated that a 3rd of those fatalities were connected with impairment. So, they are seeing a problem developing, where people are making irresponsible driving decisions where they’re either drunk and have just used cannabis.
What this CDOT campaign is all about
The CDOT aims at using the event as a PSA for traffic safety and to warn drivers about the dangers associated with this behavior.
Manager of CDOT Communications, Sam Cole, said that they’re trying to figure out a way that will connect best with the community and hopefully stop people from driving while under the influence of marijuana.
The campaign is set to start in the following months and is a repeat of their ‘Cannabis Conversations’ series. Started in 2018, this campaign was the first of its kind that brought everyone together in a candid conversation to bring about a good and effective solution to resolve their issues or at least lower them.
Last year, it was a roaring success with the CDOT receiving feedback, responses from over 15,000 Coloradans. It was a mix of interactive activities like filling online surveys, free public meetings and even giving their thoughts on the matter during one on one interviews.
What’s different with the new campaign
Now they’re planning out a Phase 2, as Colorado still has a big problem with cannabis impaired driving. In 2017-2018, the Colorado State Patrol noted a 25% rise in marijuana DUI citations. They will be sharing this and other information with the public during their next campaign.
They will create opportunities like stakeholder workshops, events, public meetings, digital focus groups and online surveys. All processes will be documented using online updates and video.
Last year, the goal was to get a better understanding of this situation, by asking stakeholders and the public to learn about behaviors and opinions connected with marijuana-impaired driving.
This year, the focus will be on building a traffic safety PSA ad campaign warning to highlight the dangers of driving this way.
At the same time, they will continue relying on the feedback received in 2018 to build practical solutions for keeping Colorado roads safe, especially for those who need to use cannabis regularly.