WILKES-BARRE — In an exclusive AAA poll, 72 percent of Pennsylvania drivers say they are somewhat or very concerned about the dangers posed by others driving under the influence of marijuana should it be legalized for recreational use.

An overwhelming 92 percent of those surveyed by AAA consider someone driving after using illegal drugs a serious threat to their safety.

“Drugged driving is a problem that is quickly — and somewhat quietly — surpassing drunk driving as a major highway safety threat,” said Jana Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Because AAA is a consistent champion of road safety, we wanted to start the public conversation about this issue before it’s too late.”

Tidwell said on March 30, the Pennsylvania AAA Federation and the Pennsylvania DUI Association held a Drugged Driving Summit to study the issue and develop an action plan specific to Pennsylvania with the goal of increasing education, enforcement resources, and ultimately reaching zero impaired driving fatalities.

More than 150 participants — legislators, law enforcement officials, health care experts, traffic safety advocates, members of the treatment community and national experts among them — gathered to discuss Pennsylvania’s challenges and educate each other to the experiences different agencies experience in dealing with the complex issue.

“As a result of this summit, we hope to grasp a better understanding of what’s happening in our state from the people who deal with all of the aspects of drug-impaired driving first-hand,” said Tidwell.

Stephen Erni, executive director of the Pennsylvania DUI Association, said his organization will be working with all three branches of government, safety advocates and the community to implement the recommendations developed at the Summit.

More AAA Pennsylvania poll findings

• 54 percent correctly identify drug overdoses as the leading cause of

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