The annual MADD campaign relaunched its “impaired driver caught here” mobile sign campaign in communities across Saskatchewan.
Signs are placed at locations within their communities where impaired drivers were caught and criminally charged. In many cases, impaired drivers were caught by police following 911 calls from the public.
“This campaign reminds the public about the important role they play in helping police take impaired drivers off the roads, and reinforces the message that if you see a driver you suspect is impaired by alcohol or drugs, you can call 911 to report it,” said MADD Canada western regional manager Tracy Crawford in a statement.
MADD Saskatoon president Bonny Stevenson says people should never drink and drive, there are always alternatives for a safe ride home.
“There can never be enough messages out there whether it’s alcohol or cannabis. It’s never the right choice,” said Stevenson. “I guarantee you, you can call a family member, a friend, you can call anyone for a safe ride home.”
Stevenson lost her 17-year-old son, Quinn, in 2013 when he was hit and killed by an impaired driver.
Stevenson told Global News there’s been issues in the past of the signs going missing or being stolen.
“Please don’t steal the signs, this is a problem we have had in the past.”
MADD Canada’s latest statistics show that in 2019, in Saskatchewan, 3,993 charges and suspensions were laid, or 341 for every 100,000 residents in the province.
“Impaired driving continues to be a serious problem that happens at all times of day and in all communities,” Crawford said. “We believe these signs send a strong deterrent message and highlight the fact that driving impaired is just never worth the risk. It’s not worth having your licence suspended, it’s not worth having a criminal record, and it’s not worth the fines and legal fees. Most importantly it’s not worth the risk of a crash that kills or injures you, or other people.”
The campaign is taking place in Estevan, Meadow Lake, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina, and for the first time in Moose Jaw.