A national study recently came to Reading in an apparent attempt to learn whether Reading drivers follow safety procedures or abuse prescription drugs prior to driving. Although some people in town were angered by the survey, feeling that the government went too far by commissioning the study, those same people may have felt differently if they had been the victims of a car accident.
The study was done by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation on behalf of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Though participation in the study was apparently optional, it doesn't mean that it didn't rile a few feathers.
The Reading police chief has said that this survey is an attempt to reduce crashes and injuries, an important goal since car accidents can seriously upend an individual's life. Many car accident victims need extensive medical care, sometimes for the rest of their lives. They have to take time off of school or work; sometimes they are never able to return. And, in the worst case scenarios, someone can lose his or her life in a car accident.
Drivers were stopped as they drove down a street and told to park in a parking lot. There, the individual would be asked for a cheek swab by a federal contractor, or a driver could elect not to participate. Reports indicate that those who refused participate were merely asked questions.
Car accidents and car accident injuries are extremely serious but, it seems, many drivers are more concerned with getting to their destination faster. Hopefully this data can be used to help eliminate dangerous driving behaviors.
Source: FOX, "Pa. town latest to force drivers over and ask for cheek swabs for federal study," Dec. 17, 2013