Central Saanich Police Service held a forum recently on local road safety issues. (File)

Central Saanich Police Service held a forum recently on local road safety issues. (File)

Central Saanich Police training a drug recognition expert

Role needed as Canada nears cannabis legalization this year

Central Saanich Police have an officer training to recognize when drivers are impaired by drugs, as Canada nears the day it legalizes recreational marijuana.

The police service held a road safety community forum on Thurs., March 15, inviting representatives from ICBC and the District of Central Saanich to speak on issues from bike safety to how roads are engineered. The public was invited to participate and one of the first questions was how police will test suspected drug-impaired drivers.

Sergeant Paul Brailey, representing Central Saanich Police Service (CSPS), said instruments used in detecting drug impairment at the roadside have to be developed and that may take a long time. Right now, however, the police service have an officer in training to be a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). Officer training, he noted, is important as technology may not be precise enough to differentiate between prescription drugs and others.

Asked about speed reader boards and why they aren’t moved around more frequently, the CSPS noted they are large and solar powered. As such, they have been located on larger routes and in the sun. That means they don’t move around as often in the fall and winter as they do in the spring and summer.

Data collected from speed reader boards is collected in real time, allowing police to plan more patrols.

As for keeping cyclists safe, the CSPS’ Youth Resource Officer participates in annual bike rodeos at local elementary schools.

To read more about the road safety forum, visit the Central Saanich Police website.