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Cobourg police, OPP reward good teen driving

Cobourg police and Parachute Canada are teaming up to take part in National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW), a campaign that raises awareness for drug-impaired driving among teens. It is reported that within the past 10 years, one in four teens who died in a motor vehicle accident had tested positive for cannabis.

National Teen Driver Safety Week continues until Saturday. Its main focus is drugged driving, but the awareness campaign will also take a look at distracted, impaired and aggressive driving. According to MADD Canada, within the 2,567 of fatalities from car accidents in 2012, 18.7 per cent of drivers had a positive reading for alcohol and 24.1 per cent for drugs. In 2016 alone, distracted driving caused more than 65 deaths in Ontario, beating out drugs, alcohol and speeding for number one cause of death.

Cobourg Police visited Cobourg Vocational Institute and conducted a positive ticket campaign on Monday. The officers on scene issued "positive driving tickets" to award student drivers who make safe and conscientious decisions on the roads. The students can use their tickets to enter into a draw to win Indigo gift cards. The team is also using the hashtag #GetHomeSafe to spread their message on social media.

In 2013, MADD reported that a third of teens believe they drive better under the influence of cannabis, but Cobourg police state that this belief is false. According to The National Institute of Drug Abuse, using Cannabis before driving can impact judgement, motor coordination and reaction time. Drivers with THC in their blood are twice more likely to be involved in a car accident than drivers without.

"Young people make up 12 per cent of licensed drivers" stated Cst. Nick Moeller from Cobourg Police Service, "but they account for about 20 per cent of all road-related injuries and deaths. Through NTDWS and community initiatives like Positive Ticketing, we are encouraging young drivers to think about risks and responsibilities- and why they should choose to make safety their No. 1 priority."

For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week, visit parachutecanada.org/ntdsw

Meanwhile, Northumberland OPP are taking part in National Teen Driver Safety Week with its Positive Ticketing Blitz program, which sees offers pulling cars over to reward good drivers, particularly near high schools.

"Education, engagement and enforcement during this week will focus on public awareness of teen driver safety issues with an emphasis on education of the common bad driving behaviours of some teenagers in that age group - drugged driving, distracted driving, impaired driving and aggressive driving (including speeding)," states an OPP release.