Impaired Driving Is A Crime - CALL 911



    It's Your Community. It's Your Call.

    NANAIMO, BC, June 19 /CNW/ - Impaired driving is the number one cause of
criminal death in Canada. Calling 911 to report a suspected impaired driver to
police helps reduce the number of impaired driving related deaths and injuries
on B.C.'s streets and highways.
    The Nanaimo RCMP, Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, MADD
Canada, the City of Nanaimo and the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation are working
together to encourage the public to call 911 to report suspected impaired
drivers in a pilot project being launched in Nanaimo.
    "The public is encouraged to use 911 to report crimes," says Supt Norm
Gaumont, Officer in Charge of Traffic for BC. "Driving a vehicle while under
the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal driving behaviour."
    There is a perception among the public that reporting a suspected
impaired driver is not a reason to call 911. In fact impaired driving is a
criminal act and suspected impaired drivers can be reported to the police. 911
call centres will take and process calls reporting suspected impaired drivers.
    The City of Nanaimo has installed new street and highway signs that tell
drivers to pull over and call 911 to report a vehicle being driven
dangerously.
    "Calling 911 to report a suspected impaired driver is a critical way to
assist police in keeping our roads safe. Every emergency call could save a
life or prevent an injury," says Margaret Miller, MADD Canada's National
President. "Call 911 programs are a vital way to engage the public and MADD
Canada is proud to be part of this collaborative effort to stop impaired
driving."
    In a recent survey, eighty percent of British Columbians said they are
more concerned about impaired driving than about any other problem facing
society. Yet, the same survey reported that one in five admitted to driving
after drinking.
    "(This initiative) is a demonstration of collaboration at its best -
provincial and local government, police, private companies and non-profit
agencies, working together to reach our mutual goal of getting impaired
drivers off the road" says Steve Martin, Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.
    "With the onset of warmer weather we are entering the season of increased
social activity. A majority of impaired drivers are coming from private
functions involving friends, family or colleagues," says BCAA Traffic Safety
Foundation Executive Director Allan Lamb. "Summertime sees the highest number
of incidents of people driving while impaired. Allowing someone to leave your
company who may be impaired should not be an option."
    In B.C., impaired drivers kill on average two people and injure over
sixty every week, and Transport Canada statistics show impaired drivers cost
the B.C. economy approximately $1.6 billion per year, not including the cost
of police, ambulance or courts.
    "Deaths and injuries caused by impaired drivers are not accidents, they
are the result of negligent behaviour," adds Lamb who hopes to see full public
participation in this proactive initiative.
    Many impaired drivers attempt to dodge police road checks, but with
accurate information provided to the 911 call centre, police can intercept a
suspected driver anywhere.
    If you see a car being driven dangerously, pull over safely, call 911 and
be prepared to provide the license plate number, description of the vehicle,
and the location and direction the vehicle is traveling in.
    Impaired driving changes lives forever. Call 911 - It's your community,
it's your call.

    
                             DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES
                               www.BCAATSF.ca
    

    URL for this media release is:
http://www.tsfbcaa.com/content/custompages/news.aspx





For further information:

For further information: Lennea Durant, Media Relations, BCAA Traffic
Safety Foundation, Tel: (604) 875-1182, E-mail: lenneadurant@shaw.ca


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