Operation Lookout(R): Intervening to Prevent Impaired Driving



    OTTAWA, April 25 /CNW/ - In recognition of the First United Nations
Global Road Safety week, Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving (OCCID)
and Ottawa Alliance on Impaired Driving (OAID) are reminding the public of the
role they can play to make our roads safer by participating in Operation
Lookout(R).
    Operation Lookout(R) intervenes to remove unsafe drivers from the roads
by involving other road users to report suspected impaired drivers by calling
9-1-1 or (*)0PP; it also deters potential impaired drivers by communicating an
increased likelihood of apprehension.
    At the Ottawa OPP Detachment (Kanata) at 10:00 a.m., OCCID President
Shelley Timms, Vice-President and victim Mary Purnell along with Doug Mayhew
from OAID will present signage and information that can be used to promote
Operation Lookout(R).
    "Drunk, drugged and fatigued drivers put us all at risk on our roads",
said Mary Purnell. "Operation Lookout has been recognized by Health Canada as
a valuable program to deal with repeat offenders". She adds, "Police services
running Operation Lookout have seen four-fold increases in the number of
calls, saving lives on our roads".
    According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "Road traffic collisions
kill nearly 1.2 million people worldwide every year, and injure millions
more". In 2004 in Canada 2,725 people were killed in traffic collisions and
212,000 were injured.
    OCCID and OAID gratefully acknowledge Acting/Deputy Chief Knowlton
Roberts with Ottawa Police Service, S/Sgt Tim Pierce with Ontario Provincial
Police, and Sgt. Jamie Johnston with the RCMP National Collision
Reconstruction Program.


    BACKGROUNDER

    Operation Lookout

    Operation Lookout was trademarked in 1992 by Against Drunk Driving (ADD)
and today operates in almost 50 communities across Canada and is managed by
Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving (OCCID). The program provides an
extremely timely approach to addressing all forms of unsafe driving (drugs,
drinking and fatigue) and can even help someone suffering from a medical
emergency while driving.
    The program typically runs in communities in collaboration with Public
Health and local police, local businesses and community groups (e.g. OSAID,
MADD, Action Sudbury, Focus Coalitions).

    47 communities are currently involved with Operation Lookout:

    Amhurstberg, Bancroft, Belleville, Brockville, Bruce Peninsula, Chatham,
Cornwall, Edmonton, Elgin County, Elliott Lake, Fredericton, Frontenac,
Gananoque, Grenville, Grey County, Guelph, Haldimand, Hamilton, Hastings,
Hawkesbury, Huron, Ingersoll, Kingston, Leeds, Lennox and Addington, Little
Current/Manitoulin, London, Manitoba, Markstay, Napanee, Norfolk, Oshawa,
Ottawa, Owen Sound, Peterborough, Port Hope, Prescott, St. Catharines, St.
Thomas, Sharbot Lake, South Bruce, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Tillsonburg, Timmins,
Toronto, and Woodstock.
    Police Services across Canada have supported Operation Lookout for
decades with the initial support for the program coming from Peel Regional
Police; 24 OPP detachments and many more municipal services currently support
Operation Lookout.
    Health Canada acknowledges Operation Lookout as a valuable tool in
removing impaired drivers from the road; focus testing by Strategic Counsel in
2003 determined that there has been a fundamental shift in the social climate
around impaired driving - making a program like Operation Lookout possible.

    First United Nations Global Road Safety Week

    This First United Nations Global Road Safety Week -- dedicated to young
road users - is a platform for improving safety for the hundreds of millions
of young people who travel the world's roads every day.
    Since World Health Day 2004, and subsequent discussions in the United
Nations General Assembly, Governments and their partners have paid increased
attention to road safety. But there is still much progress to be made. Road
traffic collisions kill nearly 1.2 million people worldwide every year, and
injure millions more. They are the leading cause of death for people aged 10
to 24 years, with devastating impact on families and communities.
    Road traffic deaths and injuries also place an enormous strain on a
country's health care system, and on the national economy in general. In
regions where young people constitute a major part of the population, the
problem is even more acute. On average, road traffic injuries cost low- and
middle-income countries more than one per cent of their Gross National
Product. For all these reasons, road traffic injuries are an important
obstacle to development.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Anne Leonard, Executive
Director, OCCID, (416) 578-4829; Doug Mayhew, OAID, CAA East Region, (613)
721-3283 or (613) 290-3553


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