A new impaired driving campaign by SGI puts the onus on friends to step in and stop drunk drivers from hitting the road, but MADD Regina is calling for stronger legislation instead.

There are two "be a good wingman" ads with distinctly different endings.

·         'Be a good wingman,' SGI impaired driving campaign asks

In one, the impaired driver gets home safely after the intervention of friends. In the other, his car ends up in a ditch on the side of the road after a violent crash.

Wendell Waldron, community leader with MADD Regina, said many of the people convicted in well-known drunk driving cases in the province were around friends who had the opportunity to do the right thing but did nothing.

He suggested people be more vigilant by taking their friend's keys away or calling the police.

"It's no longer a taboo thing to simply watch your friend drink and then drive away. Now we can actively get involved and it's the right thing to do," he said.

Emphasis on stricter legislation

Despite his approval of the ad campaign's messaging, Waldron thinks legislation is far more effective.

He said impaired driving has been a problem for at least 50 years in Saskatchewan, in spite of many campaigns designed to reduce it.

He cited the case of MLA Don McMorris, who pleaded guilty to drunk driving and returned to caucus seven months later.

"It sends the wrong message," Waldron said. "[It] reinforces the belief that as long as you don't kill anyone, it's not too bad. It doesn't work that way."

Waldron is calling on tougher provincial legislation in Saskatchewan to discourage drunk driving.

He said programs like British Columbia's immediate roadside suspension, where drunk drivers lose their vehicle for 30 days, have proved effective. In Saskatchewan, cars are only impounded for an average of three days.

Waldron said Ontario has implemented what they call a 'last drink' program. When a person is caught for impaired driving, police ask them where they were being served and the establishment or person can be held responsible.

SGI recently sued two Saskatoon bars that served a woman who was found guilty of impaired driving in a crash that killed a family of four.

·         SGI suing bars that served impaired driver who killed Saskatoon family

"Those measures would really help our situation here," Waldron said.

Source: CBC News


Last updated on: 2017-08-31 | Link to this post