Marijuana Awareness Safety Kit for Motorcyclists
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has announced a new program to its host-an-event family of traffic safety-theme courses-in-a-box: The Riding Straight – Marijuana Awareness Host-An-Event Kit. The take home kit is a fun, effective way to demonstrate to motorcyclists how marijuana impairment can adversely affect motorcycling riding.
Marijuana is gaining acceptance in the United States. In recent years, many states have touted its medicinal properties and reaped the financial benefits from its legalization.
As of January 15, 2016, 23 states in the union and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for medicinal use, and four states (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington) allow it for recreational use for those 21 years of age and above.
While marijuana may be moving its way into ubiquitous legality, whether that be for medicinal or recreational use, it is by no means safe to be under the influence of while operating a motorized vehicle. To that end, alcohol has long been under this category.
According to MSF, marijuana has been known to distort the perception of time, space and speed – which is the antithesis of what a rider needs due to the complex and detail oriented nature of motorcycling. Split-second decisions that require precise input from the rider can be obscured, effectively narrowing a rider’s safety margin.
MSF already addresses alcohol-impairment in its popular Riding Straight – Alcohol Awareness Host-An-Event Kit, which uses Innocorp’s Fatal Vision Alcohol Impairment Simulation Goggle that allow an authentic experience of alcohol impairment with a sober mind and most importantly, no hangover.
MSF’s Riding Straight – Marijuana Awareness kit uses another one of Innocorp’s fine educational tools, the Marijuana Impairment Simulation Goggle at the core of three unique activities that demonstrate how marijuana and motorcycling are a dangerous mix. As with all MSF Host-An-Event kits, the Marijuana Awareness kit can be purchased and used by anyone interested In facilitating special events. Riding club meetings, rallies and local community outreach programs like bike nights are great opportunities to encourage safety and without the need for any certifications from MSF or prior teaching experience.
The goggle does not truly replicate the effects of a marijuana “high,” but the unique way in which the users visions is distorted, causes a visual impairment that is quite representative of the experience. The participant then must compensate for these impairments and complete the kit’s listed activities. Impairments directly impact cognition and motor skills and in this way, the participant will get a sense of what kind of unnecessary challenges riding while “high” creates for a driver or motorcyclist, especially when faced 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 at your destination. 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 National Motorcycle Safety Fund, the non-profit, charitable arm of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, provided seed funding to MSF for the development of this new kit. NMSF supports the work of MSF in the areas of research, curriculum development, delivery of rider training courses, and community outreach programs in order to help eliminate crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
The kit will be available in early 2016 at the MSF online store for a one-time investment of $595.