Drive stoned, end road rage (+ videos)

By Chloe Johnson, Nicola Shepheard

Dre Oakley posted himself in videos on YouTube to criticise the NZTA ads against drug-driving. Photo / Supplied
Dre Oakley posted himself in videos on YouTube to criticise the NZTA ads against drug-driving. Photo / Supplied

Everyone should get high before getting behind the wheel of a car. It will stop road rage.

That is the view of Dre Oakley, 25, who lashed out at the New Zealand Transport Agency's latest drug-driving campaign by posting an expletive-laden video on YouTube of himself getting stoned while driving, doing burn-outs and drifting. (Warning: Content of linked video may offend some people).

The 1min 30sec video began with Oakley cursing in an Ali-G type accent before using a blowtorch and kitchen knives to apparently smoke pot while driving. The method, known as "spotting", grinds small amounts of cannabis between two hot knives to emit smoke.

"We know this is fully illegal but this is how we do spots while we is driving down the road on the way to work," Oakley said to the camera.

He goes on to do burn-outs and skids around corners and through intersections before saying "the lesson is get high and do drive-bys, and don't be a taxi man because that is bad".

The video, which had just 455 views yesterday, was the third Oakley had made in relation to smoking weed and getting high.

Oakley told the Herald on Sunday he made the video "for a laugh" and to demonstrate his view that stoned people could drive safely.

But his biggest frustration against the NZTA ads was the behaviour of actors who exaggerated the effects of drugs, he said.

"It's not realistic," claimed Oakley, who said he smoked cannabis every day.

"I'd prefer to see people who get stoned and drive around, not people who are [fake] stoned and get told off by funny people in the back. That's just silly.

"When I get high I don't feel how they describe it, like 'whoa man that's trippy'. It is not like that, it just makes you feel better like when you're thirsty and you have a drink."

When asked if everyone should drive stoned he said, "F***ing oath I reckon everybody should do it, then it will cut down on road rage."

He said drunk drivers were the real danger on our roads, not those under the influence of drugs.

"Alcohol will f*** you up if you drink too much, and then you're messed up and can't do anything ... you don't want to see someone drive like that but, you see someone stoned, they just have chingy eyes and feel happy about themselves."

His mother, Carol Ann Oakley, said she didn't approve of the YouTube videos. "He is very fragile and very immature for his age, he just doesn't know the consequences of his actions," Carol Ann said. "I understand why he does it but we don't condone it in any way."

NZTA spokesman Andrew Knackstedt said the video reflected the extreme end of a growing problem on the roads.

"It's a problem that a good chunk of the population is either complacent about or unaware of," Knackstedt said. "The fact that a third of deceased drivers had marijuana in their system speaks for itself."

- Chloe Johnson

DOPE-DRIVERS NOT GETTING ROAD SAFETY MESSAGE

Almost a third of 17,200 people who answered a question about dope-driving in an online poll believe it is safe to drive after smoking cannabis and some argued pot makes it safer. The poll was part of a New Zealand Transport Authority campaign featuring TV ads that used hidden cameras to film people's reactions to "drugged" taxi drivers played by actors. The ads, alongside Facebook and Youtube pages, Twitter feeds and billboards, want to kickstart debate.

In two separate questions, a quarter of respondents said it was safe to drive home after a night on E (1060 out of 4100), and to drive on prescription drugs against medical advice (1500 out of 4200). And of the 20,500 people who answered a question about whether drugs make you a safer driver, 3400 (17 per cent) said "yes".

Strikingly, 67 per cent of the recent pot-users surveyed said they had driven within three hours of taking it. One theme of the online comments in the campaign is dope-drivers think they can handle driving high, even if others can't.

Transport Authority chief executive Geoff Dangerfield told the Herald on Sunday, "The current attitudes about the risks of driving on drugs are similar to the views people once had about drink-driving - often complacent, based on unfounded myths or simply ignorant of the facts."

Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said policymakers needed to approach this as an issue of road safety, not law enforcement - tricky when some of the substances that impair driving are illicit. Dangerfield said that once enough people were talking about drug-driving, the focus would shift to addressing common myths.

Aucklander Cailean Copper Darrington, 18, posted this comment on the campaign's Facebook page: "Drugs can affect your driving but it depends on the potency or quantity of the drug you have consumed, it also depends on what kind of driver you are. If we are going to be so strict about drug driving just remember that caffeine is a drug also ... just sayin.."

Copper Darrington, who works in a timberyard, told the Herald on Sunday:"It's more about knowing your limits. I sometimes drink and skateboard but I find that that impairs me a lot more than other drugs would.

"I think alcohol affects your driving a lot more than marijuana does. I'm not saying marijuana can't affect your driving, but it takes a lot more. I think I'd be all right to drive [after a joint] but I wouldn't because it's illegal."

- Nicola Shepheard

The Drug Foundation's hidden camera ads:

Dre Oakley's video response:

- Herald on Sunday

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