PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

12/20/2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 122021
Subject:
City Awarded State Grant to Continue Drug-Impaired Driving Prevention Program
Contact:
Lara Turnbull
562.570.4294
Lara.Turnbull@longbeach.gov
Acting Bureau Manager
Department of Health and Human Services




Long Beach, CA – The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) has been awarded a $215,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to encourage responsible cannabis use and reduce drug-impaired driving related collisions.  

“The safety of our community is our top priority in Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “As we continue to improve the City’s transportation infrastructure, this grant will enable us to expand existing safety education campaigns and encourage safe interactions among road users to reduce traffic related injuries.” 

The City’s GreenlightLB Program will use grant funds to educate community members about the dangers of driving while impaired by drugs and promote safer choices. This is the fifth year the Health Department has received an OTS grant to continue its drug-impaired driving prevention efforts. This year's funding is supporting activities conducted between October 1, 2021, and September 30, 2022, including 

  • Peer-to-peer education among college-aged students to increase awareness and education surrounding the dangers of drug-impaired driving. 
  • Youth focused initiatives, including virtual presentations, to educate high school and college-aged students on the consequences of driving while impaired. 
  • Workshops focused on older adults to increase education on the effects of legally obtained and commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drugs on a user’s ability to drive safely. 
  • Collaboration with local bars, clubs and cannabis dispensaries to conduct educational activities and implement an awareness campaign to reach high-risk populations. 
  • Enhanced drug-impaired driving awareness through print and digital media resources and coordination of Long Beach Safe Streets Awareness Week. 

“The safety of our Long Beach community is our top priority, and everyone can play a role to ensure that Long Beach streets are safe,” Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy said. “The efforts funded by OTS allow for evidence-based prevention programs to increase awareness and help everyone make informed decisions to eliminate drug-impaired driving in Long Beach.  

Driving while impaired by any substance, including cannabis, is dangerous. Like alcohol, cannabis negatively affects several skills required for safe driving. While Americans drove less in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports the largest projected number of motor vehicle traffic fatalities since 2007, an increase of about 7.2% from 2019Active THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, was more prevalent than alcohol among drivers during the public health emergency. 

More information about the City’s cannabis education efforts is available on the GreenlightLB webpage.