Sep 08, 2014 - EDITORIAL: A SOBERING STATISTIC; DON'T DRIVE IMPAIRED


It is an ironically sobering statistic.

The year is nowhere near over but RCMP in Nova Scotia have already nabbed almost 1,000 impaired drivers.

The number of those charged is a small percentage of those who we, and police, believe are actually driving impaired on our roads. That figure also doesn’t take into account the impaired drivers that other Nova Scotia police forces have caught this year.

In short, we have a problem.

In a media release, the RCMP said between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2014 in areas policed by the RCMP they had arrested and charged 591 people for being Impaired by Alcohol, 58 for being Impaired by Drug and issued 378 administrative suspensions, which is when drivers lose their license from anywhere between seven to 90 days due as a result of being over the legal limit for impairment.

The officer-in-charge of RCMP Traffic Services, Inspector Berni Chapman, said the RCMP are looking for drivers impaired by drug and alcohol 24 hours a day, seven days a week and asked for the public’s help to keep the roads safe.

First, they are asking motorists to consider the costs of impaired driving; not only the potential costs for themselves but for innocents on the road and their passengers.

Because still, matter the consequences, drivers often come up with a lot of excuses for their choice to drive impaired though.

“Unfortunately as a police officer I have heard it all and I have seen the consequences first hand,” said Insp. Chapman in the release. “I can tell you that no excuse makes it easier for an impaired driver to live with the fact that they killed innocent people.”

So for some, only enforcement will curb the problem. And here’s where the public can help. Citizens who spot a suspected impaired driver are being asked to call 911 and report the location where the vehicle is traveling, description of the driver and/or vehicle, and license plate information.  

The intent is to stop these drivers before they maim or kill themselves or someone else.

It is unfortunate that far too many of our motorists continue to flaunt the law at great peril to everyone on the road. They don’t consider the consequences of driving impaired, either by alcohol or drugs.

It is a selfish attitude because they’re often only thinking of themselves. ‘I haven’t drank too much. I’ll be fine. I can drive. I don’t have far to go.’

Tell it to the family traveling in the oncoming vehicle on the highway. Like the impaired driver, they too want to get home safely.

This isn’t about getting home and not getting caught by the RCMP. Everyone needs to realize that they put themselves and others at risk when they drive impaired.

And if people are standing by, letting others drive when they shouldn’t be, they must step up and stop it from happening.

A thousand impaired drivers is a thousand too many.

Then again, one impaired driver is too many as well.

Source: The Vanguard


 

Last updated on: 2014-09-12 | Link to this post