Teens and Parents Urged to KnowWhatImpairedMeans | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Teens and Parents Urged to KnowWhatImpairedMeans

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties / October 22, 2018 October 22 to 28 is National Teen Driver Safety Week and teens and parents are urged to #KnowWhatImpairedMeans.

With the recent legalization of cannabis, this annual campaign provides an ideal time to make sure teens understand the reality when it comes to cannabis and driving.   

“There are many road safety challenges for teens. However, many youth do not consider driving under the influence of drugs to be risky,” says Kerri Jianopoulos, Public Health Nurse, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH).

According to the Canadian Cannabis Survey (2017), Health Canada:

  • 22 percent of teens who use cannabis believe it doesn't impair driving
  • More than 1 in 4 teens who use cannabis say they've driven within two hours of using
  • 4 in 10 teens say they've been in a car with a driver who had used cannabis

“This is especially concerning when we know that cannabis, like many other drugs, impairs judgement, slows reaction time and increases the chances of being in a crash,” says Jianopoulos.

The good news is that parents can play an important role in reducing the health risks and harms of cannabis use, including impaired driving.  HPEPH offers some helpful resources:

Cannabis Talk Kit: Know How to Talk to your Teen

Health Canada’s Cannabis Overview

To learn more about National Teen Driver Safety Week, visit www.parachutecanada.org/ntdsw.




For more information contact:

Kerri Jianopoulos
Public Health Nurse
613-966-5500 ext. 229


Suggested Side Bar: Tips for parents, drivers and passengers:

As a parent:

  • You can be a positive role model. Lead by example and always drive sober.
  • Communicate with your teen. Make it clear that using alcohol, cannabis or other drugs when driving is dangerous.
  • When your teen does start driving, commit to a common set of rules. Consider preparing a family driving agreement. You can find one at www.caa.ca.
  • Discuss the dangers of getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking or using drugs. Make sure your teen knows they can call you for a safe ride home.

As drivers and passengers:

  • If you use cannabis, don’t drive. Wait at least 6 hours or longer if you need.
  • Combining cannabis and alcohol further increases impairment. Be sure to avoid this combination if you plan to drive.
  • Always drive sober or make other arrangements to get home: take a taxi, share a ride, use public transit, have a designated driver, call a friend or stay over.
  • Passengers - speak up if your driver has been drinking or used drugs including cannabis, for everyone’s safety.