Report: Deadly crashes involving drugs on the rise

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LOS ANGELES — Ron Edwards was riding his motorcycle in 2015 when a driver ran a red light and killed him. Police in Colorado say the driver of the car had marijuana in his system.

Earlier this year, Ron’s fiancee Barb talked about the crash.

“I just don’t want this to happen to somebody else.”

There’s an increase in deadly crashes involving drug use according to a new report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association or GHSA.

In 2016 alcohol was involved in 38 percent of driver deaths while 44 percent of drivers killed tested positive for drugs.That’s a jump from just 28 percent in 2006.

More than half of the drivers had marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two in their system.

“We definitely see states liberalizing marijuana laws, there are more prescriptions of drugs then ever before and we are in the midst of an opioid crisis.”

Russ Martin with GHSA says identifying and testing a driver for drugs can be difficult.

“Right now we don’t have a nationally agreed upon way to test drivers for drug impairment similar to a breathalyzer or blood test for alcohol.”

Many police departments are now training officers to better recognize drivers who are high and several states are testing new devices like saliva swabs that can identify drugs in the system.

It’s all in an effort to prevent more deaths on the road.

 

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