About 100 or more passersby on 17th Ave. S.W. were met by a display of over 1,400 empty shoes laid out at Tomkins Park Saturday.

The education and awareness campaign by Families for Justice was a visual representation of the lives lost to impaired driving.

Standing amongst the shoes was Grace Pesa, who lost her son Francis earlier this year when he became Calgary’s first impaired driving victim of 2014.

“Francis died without a choice and these empty shoes here didn’t have any choice at all and with this visual were hoping to raise more awareness,” she said.

“I know that even if I say I wish we can stop people, it won’t happen, but if I can spare one life and one family going through the pain that we are going through, and that one can save one, I believe in the multiplier effect.”

The organization also had representatives on hand to circulate a petition that calls for harsher punishments for impaired drivers.

It has so far gained about 70,000 signatures nationwide.

Calgary Police Deputy Chief Trevor Daroux said as it stands right now, impaired driving is a very complex and difficult prosecution.

“What we’re looking for are things like random breath tests where officers can randomly, and without having to have substantiated grounds to actually pull someone over and do a breath test, so things like that are critically important to us,” Daroux said. “And we do need to have a sentence that’s going to be a deterrent.”

Minister of Justice Jonathan Denis said he is proud that Alberta has some of the strongest impaired driving laws in the county and the province would like to see federally-imposed minimum sentences for those impaired drivers who cause death or serious harm.

Source: 660 News


Last updated on: 2014-09-23 | Link to this post