Nov 12, 2014 - OPINION: WHAT TERRIFIES ME


If you’ve read my columns in the past, you know by now exactly how I feel about drinking and driving.

I drive a Honda. The roof of my car sits just four feet above the ground. If I want to make eye-contact with tractor-trailer drivers as I drive past them, I have to open my sunroof.

Living in rural Alberta, I spend a lot of time looking at rear differentials and Metal Mulisha bumper stickers when I’m driving.

As a Canadian, I’m safe from global terrorism, yet every day I live in fear of a real terror. Drunk drivers.

How many of you know someone that has been injured or killed by a terrorist? How many of you know someone who has been injured or killed by a drunk driver?

If a drunk driver driving a pickup truck collides with me head-on, it will behead me.

Over 1,000 Canadians die each year due to impaired driving, according to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).

Statistics Canada places impaired driving as the number one cause of criminal deaths in Canada.


Statistically I am more likely to be killed by a drunk driver than by a terrorist, ebola or be caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout.


I was at the Eaton Centre on December 26, 2005 when Jane Creba was shot in the crossfire of a gang-related shootout in Toronto.

In November 2012, a drunk-driver totaled my vehicle. I was at home sleeping after a long day spent shooting an assignment for our first documentary assignment. I was in my first year of college, living on a tight student budget.

Luckily a good neighbour heard the crash and ran out to catch a description of the vehicle and reported it to the police. The driver was caught and charged with impaired driving and failure to remain at the scene.

I was left without a vehicle for a month and I spent all my savings shopping for a new car. I had no recourse whatsoever. I couldn’t sue the drunk driver for inconveniencing my school and my employment.

Thankfully he hit my car and not a person and thankfully someone was able to report it to the police.

This was an inconvenience to my life but to some, it’s the end of their life or the loss of limbs or speech or vision.

The part that bothers me the most is how socially acceptable drinking and driving is to some people.

On my drive back to Alberta this summer, I met a man who flat out told me he disagrees with the fact that you shouldn’t drink and drive.

A few weeks ago I was a guest at a dinner table where another guest decided to share drinking and driving stories. What I should have done was interrupted him and told him that it is disgusting that he’s sharing that story and he should be ashamed that he participated in the most deadly criminal activity in Canada.

I didn’t and I regret staying quiet about that.

Remember that under the Harper government there are no more pardons for criminal records. It will not be erased from your record, it will reduce the number of employers who will hire you and you risk being denied entry into foreign countries as a result of possessing a criminal record.

When you drink and drive you not only risk the lives of yourself and others, you also risk becoming a victim yourself. Do you want to live knowing that you killed someone?

Source: Whitecourt Star


 

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