Marijuana is gaining acceptance as having legitimate medicinal applications and as a recreational drug in the United States, as evidenced by this recent election. Several more states voted to allow medical or recreational use of marijuana by adults. Now, three in five Americans live in states where medical marijuana is legal, and one in five Americans live in states where medical and recreational use of marijuana is legal. However, with increased liberty comes increased responsibility, and now more than ever, car drivers and motorcyclists need to be educated in the risks of driving/riding while impaired.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, in cooperation with Innocorp, Ltd., has reduced the price of the Riding Straight – Marijuana Awareness Host-An-Event Kit. The Kit, part of MSF’s Host-An-Event family of traffic safety-themed courses-in-a-box, is an engaging, effective way to demonstrate to motorcyclists how marijuana can affect the crucial skills required for safe motorcycle riding.
Although marijuana may be legal for medicinal or recreational use in one’s state, it is still not legal, safe, or wise to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by marijuana, since it tends to distort perception of time, space, and speed. This is especially true for motorcycle riders, who must continually make detailed assessments of complex traffic situations and make split-second decisions requiring precise rider input to navigate safely and maintain an adequate safety margin.
MSF’s Riding Straight – Marijuana Awareness Kit uses Innocorp’s new Marijuana Impairment Simulation Goggle at the core of three separate activities that demonstrate how marijuana and motorcycling are a risky mix. A short video showing how to use the Kit can be viewed by clicking here.
As with all MSF Host-An-Event kits, the Marijuana Awareness Kit can be purchased and used by anyone interested in being a facilitator for special events, riding club meetings and rallies, and community outreach programs, without any certification from MSF or prior teaching experience. The Goggle cannot truly replicate the effects of a marijuana “high,” but the unique way in which it distorts perceptions causes some impairments. The participant then needs to attempt to compensate for these impairments to complete the Kit’s activities. Because the impairments are in the same general areas of cognition and motor skills affected by marijuana, the participant can get a sense of the challenges a “high” driver or motorcyclist would face when dealing with traffic situations.
According to MSF President and CEO Tim Buche, “MSF’s message with our new Riding Straight – Marijuana Awareness Host-An-Event Kit is clear: Do not operate your motorcycle or any motor vehicle if you are impaired by marijuana, and find alternate transportation if you are planning to be under the influence of marijuana. Not only is it unsafe, but just as with alcohol, riders impaired by marijuana can be convicted of riding under the influence, and be subjected to similar harsh penalties.” The Kit, originally introduced at $595, is now available for $379 in MSF’s online store (click here), making it more affordable for government agencies, motorcyclist and driver training facilities, motorcycle dealerships, and riding clubs.
For more information: msf-usa.org or call (800) 446-9227.