Lyft Offers Incentives To Stop Drugged Driving In Massachusetts

By David Konow 08/16/18

Lyft has pledged $50,000 in fares to keep stoned drivers off the roads in Massachusetts.

passengers being picked up by a ride-sharing service

Popular ride-sharing service Lyft is encouraging people to drive cannabis-free with a special fare credit offer, according to High Times.

Law enforcement in Massachusetts believe there could be a greater potential for drug-related accidents since cannabis has become legal in the state, so the state has teamed with Lyft to help educate the public on the dangers of driving high.

Jennifer Queally, undersecretary of the Office of Public Safety and Security in Massachusetts, became concerned when she noticed an increase in people driving stoned in Colorado.

“It’s not uncommon to hear people say, 'I drive better when I’m high,’” Queally explains. “[But] if you are high or stoned, you are not a safe driver. And you are a danger to everyone on the road.”

At the same time, ride-sharing companies like Lyft see a potential business boom. Just as Lyft and Uber are giving potential drunk drivers everywhere a safe ride home, the general manager of Lyft in New England told High Times, “We want to make sure residents can consume marijuana and not think twice about how they’re going to get home responsibly.”

To help promote cannabis-free driving, Lyft has partnered with the Massachusetts Chief of Police Association, as well as the Cannabis Reform Coalition, to pledge $50,000 in Lyft fares to keep high drivers off the road. And if you make a pledge on social media not to drive high, you can get $4.20 in Lyft ride fare credit.

As WBUR reports, there is also a new public service campaign that has been launched in Massachusetts called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

In the commercial, several actors tell the audience, “There are roads. Ones you take and one’s you don’t. There are laws. There are rules. And there’s you. You driving. You drunk driving. You driving high. You stoned and driving. You spinning. You crashing. You arrested. You killing… There are roads. And then there are just dead ends.”

The commercial ends with a title card telling the audience, “Drunk? Stoned? Driving? Don’t.”

According to a study released this year by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the rates of people driving high has increased 16% in the last 10 years. In 44% of fatal car crashes in 2016, 38% of the drivers tested positive for marijuana, with 16% of the drivers testing positive for opioids, and 4% testing positive for both.

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.