Nov 10, 2014 - RED RIBBON RECEPTION

PERSONAL LOSS – Tracey Moller, who lost her sister to an impaired driving related incident, spoke on Nov. 7 about the importance of making the right decisions. Moller is the incoming president of Gander’s MADD chapter and was at Cobb’s Pond last week for the launch of the Red Ribbon campaign.

It only takes one wrong decision to end a life and change another.
That was the message echoed by Tracey Moller on Nov. 7.


Moller was at Cobb’s Pond last week for the launch of the Red Ribbon campaign.

The Mothers Against Drunk Driving initiative aims to remind people to make smart choices and not operate a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Lives can be changed forever when people make the wrong decisions, said Moller, and it’s important that everyone be vigilant in the fight against drunk driving.

“We want to remember those who were killed because of impaired driving,” said Moller, who’s the incoming president of MADD’s Gander chapter. “When you sit there and think of the impact it can have on yourself and other families, it never goes away.”

It’s important, said Moller, for people in the community to support MADD’s initiatives so that people don’t have to suffer the kind of pain she felt on losing a family member to impaired driving.

“I thank people for sharing this special time with us because the pain never goes away,” she said, visibly emotional. “I had a sister who was killed at the age of 18 in a car accident where drinking and driving was involved. To see the support from the community means a lot to everyone involved with our local MADD chapter.”

Angeliki Souranis, national president of MADD Canada, lost her son to an impaired driving related incident in 2008.

Her son, Craig James Watson, was travelling in the front passenger seat of a van driven by his friend when the driver lost control of the vehicle. Watson was ejected from the van when it flipped, and the vehicle landed on top of him.

Her life was changed forever, said Souranis, and she wants people of all ages to get the message that impaired driving has catastrophic risks, and people need to make the right decision if they’re impaired and considering driving.

“Four people are killed every day in Canada as result of impaired driving and the biggest thing about that is 100 per cent of these deaths are preventable,” Souranis. “If people could only make smart choices then people wouldn’t have to deal with this pain.”

One of the biggest current initiatives of MADD is lobbying the federal government to give law enforcement officials the authority to conduct alcohol-screening tests.

“Right now, the police can only pull someone over if they suspect that person is driving while impaired. We want them to be able to administer breathalyzers to anyone,” said Souranis. “We want legislation to reflect that.”

Impaired driving doesn’t just mean drunk driving, said Souranis.

“Drivers impaired by drugs is a major problem, especially in the 16-25 age category,” she said. “It’s also harder for the police to enforce because there are no measurements about the level of impairment. We want police officers to have the tools to administer swab tests to see if a person is impaired by a drug.”

Both younger and older people operate vehicles while impaired, said Lisa Jackson, but getting the message out to the youth is an important preventative measure.

“This year we went to St. Paul’s here in Gander to show the students a video of a mock incident that was caused by an impaired driver,” said Jackson, who is a member of MADD’s Gander chapter. “It had an emotional impact on them and I feel they walked away with an understanding of how their decisions can affect them and another person’s life.


 

Members of MADD Canada were joined by members of the Gander Rotary club to dedicate a bench in honour of those who lost their lives to impaired driving. Left to right are: Tracey Moller, Angeliki Souranis, Alistair Powell, Tony Gabriel, Susan MacAskill, Donna Barrett and Lisa Jackson.

 


Members of MADD Canada were joined by members of the Gander Rotary club to dedicate a bench in honour of those who lost their lives to impaired driving. Left to right are: Tracey Moller, Angeliki Souranis, Alistair Powell, Tony Gabriel, Susan MacAskill, Donna Barrett and Lisa Jackson.

Source: NL News Now


 

Last updated on: 2014-11-17 | Link to this post