A new group has been formed within Colchester County whose aim is to help prevent all forms of impaired driving.

Const. Danny Quinn, with Truro Police Traffic Services, and Amanda Morrisey, chairwoman of the newly formed local chapter of arrive alive DRIVE SOBER, display a T-shirt bearing the slogan of a soon-to-be introduced campaign called Operation Shut Out Impaired Driving. Quinn also issued a warning to motorists that extra vigilance will be paid by police on New Year's Eve to prevent impaired driving.

Called, "arrive alive DRIVE SOBER," the charitable organization has been formed as part of a larger, national body by some of the members of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) as a way to better protect the public by increasing the focus of other forms of driving impairment besides through the use of alcohol or drugs.

"We decided to make a change because of all the collisions and media around texting and driving," said group chairwoman Amanda Morrisey, who was also the chairwoman of the MADD Cobequid group.

"It's a huge issue on the roads with people being on their cellphones. And with MADD, we're not allowed to do that," she said, of promoting other forms of impairment, such as distracted driving.

"We decided to get with the times ... to better serve the public with the way things are now," she said. "We can branch out more and focus more on youth awareness and educating the public on all aspects of dangerous driving. Not just impaired driving but distracted driving as well."

The new group comes into effect on Jan. 1 with an upcoming media campaign to follow shortly after called Operation Shut Out Impaired Driving.

"Texting and driving is the same as impaired driving. There's no difference," Morrisey said. "It's an impairment of your attention, right, when you are texting and driving."

The arrive alive DRIVE SOBER organization has been in existence in some parts of the country for more than 25 years and is well established in Ontario and out west, Morrisey said. But this is the first time the group has come this far east.

"So, we're really the first to promote the cause on a large scale in Atlantic Canada. I think it is going to go over well, especially with the younger crowds," Morrissey said. "We look forward to serving the public as always."

And she said the new group will maintain the same close working relationship with police as it had with MADD.

Susan MacAskill, MADD Canada's chapters service manager for the Atlantic region, said the formation of the new group will not affect the local operations of her organization.

"The MADD Cobequid chapter is certainly very active and ongoing," she said, adding it will remain involved in all campaigns with which it has traditionally been active.

Source: Truro Daily


Last updated on: 2015-01-09 | Link to this post