Prairie Post (West Edition)

New report recommends 34 indicators to improve measuring the impact of drug-impaired driving across Canada

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The effects of drug-impaired driving (DID) are underrepor­ted and therefore not well understood in Canada.

A new report released today by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) recommends 34 indicators (e.g., collecting anonymous data on the potential presence and types of drugs in hospitaliz­ed drivers) to better measure the impact of DID across Canada.

Measuring the Impact of Drug-Impaired Driving: Recommenda­tions for National Indicators outlines the indicators across a variety of sectors and agencies at the municipal, provincial, territoria­l and federal levels including:

• Legal (i.e., law enforcemen­t incident and resource use data, and court da

• Medical (i.e., coroner and medical examiner data and hospital injury data)

• Transporta­tion (i.e., roadside surveys of passenger and light-duty vehicle drivers and commercial vehicle drivers, and motor vehicle division driver record data)

• Public (i.e., national surveys)

“Our country has an incomplete picture of drug-impaired driving on our roads,” explains Shawna Meister, Interim Associate Director, Research at CCSA. “Currently, most data on DID comes from criminal acts and deaths. If we want to better understand and reduce DID, data are needed from other sources, such as hospitaliz­ed injuries and roadside surveys. Without additional data, it is difficult to effectivel­y address the causes of the issue.”

Implementi­ng these indicators across Canada would help reduce DID injuries and fatalities, offer a better understand­ing of DID and more accurately present the issue on a national level. The collected data can also be used to improve targeted education efforts, direct resources and create strategic plans that effectivel­y address the issue.

The release of this report is a result of CCSA leading a multiyear project to develop a set of indicators to expand, enhance and standardiz­e DID data across Canada. CCSA formed an expert DID Indicators Advisory Committee to review the evidence, provide practical expertise and develop the proposed recommenda­tions.

Along with the report, CCSA released nine supporting sector briefs that break up the 34 indicators by sector. Each brief lists the indicators recommende­d for the respective sectors and agencies, and what needs to be considered when implementi­ng them in each sector.

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