LONGMEADOW – Starting on Monday, Aug. 14, the Longmeadow Police will increase the number of impaired driving patrols on local roads after being awarded a special grant from the Highway Safety Division (HSD) of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). The Longmeadow Police Department will join more than 200 local police departments across the state and the state police in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement mobilization.
The grant funding will allow the Longmeadow Police Dept. to add patrols specifically to remove impaired drivers, and as a result reduce the needless deaths and injuries they cause.
“There is clear evidence that drivers who have used marijuana, especially in combination with alcohol, are significantly impaired,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the Highway Safety Division. “We are urging motorists to plan ahead for a sober ride home by using public transportation, a ride-sharing service or a designated driver. Do not put yourself and each person in the car and on the road with you at risk.”
Marijuana or marijuana-type drugs were the most prevalent types of drugs found in people killed in crashes from 2010-14 in Massachusetts.
• From 2013-14, alcohol impaired driving fatalities increased 14 percent (125 to 143).
• From 2010-14, 77 percent of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were men.
• From 2010-14, 46 percent of all alcohol-related driver fatalities were ages 21-34.
• NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported that drugs were present in 40 percent of the fatally-injured drivers with a known test result, almost the same level as alcohol.
• NHTSA’s 2013–14 roadside survey found drugs in 22 percent of all drivers both on weekend nights and on weekdays.
• Drivers using marijuana demonstrated decreased car handling performance, increased reaction times, impaired time and distance estimation, sleepiness, and decreased motor skill coordination (NHTSA).
• Mixing alcohol and marijuana may dramatically produce effects greater than either drug on its own (NHTSA).
To view the Highway Safety Division’s (HSD) “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” TV spots, or for more information about the HSD’s educational campaigns, go to www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/hsd/.