Following up on our post about commercial truck drivers using marijuana on Aug. 29, 2017 ("Car accidents: How will legalizing marijuana affect road safety?"), trucking authorities are now asking for more oversight. The Canadian Trucking Alliance is concerned about the number of drugs that are prescribed to truck drivers by medical practitioners. CTA warns that truckers in Ontario and other provinces have safety-sensitive jobs as they share their work environments with the public, and drug impairment can lead to devastating car accidents when commercial trucks are involved.
The CTA asked Health Canada again to ensure that the safety policy related to drugs is one of zero tolerance. The safety record of truck drivers is generally thought to be excellent, but there is concern over the imminent legalization of marijuana. CTA believes that greater oversight is necessary to protect society.
Their request is for the government to have the same restrictions on both medical and recreational marijuana use for employees in safety-sensitive positions, including commercial truck drivers. Furthermore, lobbyists want physicians to be held more accountable when it comes to prescribing marijuana -- suggesting that doctors should be aware of the occupations of their patients. They say many truckers believe the impaired driving laws do not apply to those who are authorized medical marijuana users.
Car occupants in Ontario who share the province's roads with commercial vehicles will always be vulnerable. However, they may be significantly safer if the government accepts a zero-tolerance policy for both medical and recreational use of marijuana by operators of large trucks. Nevertheless, individuals who suffer injuries in car accidents that involve impaired truck drivers may have grounds to pursue financial relief through the civil justice system. Navigating a personal injury lawsuit to recover financial and other damages may be less complicated with the help of experienced legal counsel.