Gov. Baker launches PSA campaign to discourage impaired driving

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker considers drivers who are high on marijuana a deadly threat to public safety.

Gov. Baker has launched a TV public service campaign that he said will help correct the erroneous perception that impaired driving isn’t dangerous.

The PSA’s are aimed at young drivers under the influence. Amherst Police Chief Scott Livingstone is helping take the initiative.

Chief Livingstone told 22News that, “Officers are being trained indirect recognition so that more officers on the street will have the tools to recognize impairment.”

The safety campaign aimed at marijuana users age 18-34 contends that after alcohol, marijuana is the most prevalent drug found in drivers involved in deadly accidents in Massachusetts since 2013.

Drivers 22News spoke with in downtown Northampton share Chief Livingstone’s concern about marijuana-impaired drivers behind the wheel.

Steve Silluzio of Easthampton told 22News that police should be equipped to detect marijuana impairment. “I think that’s worth pursuing, we’ve had several close calls. I’ve had some close calls with my son in the car.”

Joshua Brown, a Dorchester resident, echoed the thoughts of state lawmakers.

“Because if you are under the influence of marijuana or anything, you shouldn’t be driving, period,” said Brown.

The campaign against driving while high on marijuana still lacks one vital component, according to Amherst police chief Scott Livingstone: a device similar to a breathalyzer to detect marijuana use by an erratic driver.

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