Saskatchewan ad campaign latest measure to crack down on impaired driving

Click to play video 'New impaired driving campaign shows the void created by preventable deaths on Saskatchewan roads' New impaired driving campaign shows the void created by preventable deaths on Saskatchewan roads

REGINA – A new multimedia advertising campaign will hit airwaves on Sunday, blanketing TV, radio, movie theatres, and online.

The minute-long SGI advertisement features images of men, women and children disappearing into a void, leaving their loved ones on their own.

It ends with a young girl disappearing as she blows out birthday candles, a stark reminder that impaired driving can snuff out the most innocent of lives.

“It really has an impact and that’s what it’s meant to do of course,” Don McMorris, Minister Responsible for SGI, said.

Saskatchewan holds the worst impaired driving record out of Canadian provinces.

To drive the point home the corporation released sobering statistics that show in 2014 there were more than 1,100 collisions where alcohol or drug use was a factor, resulting in 61 deaths and 541 injuries.

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“It’s again time to revisit the message, time for people to be aware of the impacts,” McMorris said.

The campaign comes despite new measures the government introduced in 2014 to crack down on impaired driving.

The measures included tougher penalties, including immediate roadside vehicle seizures and longer licence suspensions.

“It’s about the consequences, life-changing consequences,” Marlo Pritchard, Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police president.

As the province struggles to change the culture of drunk driving, the promise of legalizing marijuana also has SGI and law enforcement thinking ahead.

“We know [legalization is] going to change the playing field, we’ll put it that way. It is a concern from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and we’re working towards trying to get ahead of that,” Pritchard said.

The SGI campaign runs from May 15 to June 13.

With files from The Canadian Press