RCMP detachments from every corner of the country work to raise awareness of impaired driving and its repercussions. Extra checkpoints are often carried out in different detachments’ local areas.Local RCMP detachments were cracking down on impaired driving during National Impaired Driving Prevention Week March 18-24.

The Bay Roberts and Harbour Grace RCMP have been holding checkpoints in communities such as Harbour Grace, Carbonear, Bay Roberts and Clarke’s Beach.

Impaired driving is one of the leading criminal causes of death in Canada, something Const. Bryan Vaughan says awareness campaigns such as National Impaired Driving Prevention Week hope to change.

One of the detachments’ checkpoints took place in Clarke’s Beach on Friday afternoon, March 23. Several RCMP vehicles parked along the sides of the main stretch leading into Bay Roberts and a number of RCMP officers took part in the stop, chatting with drivers and making sure all was well.

RCMP officers taking part in the national awareness campaign hope to spread the message of what can happen if you get behind the wheel while impaired.

“Checkpoints like these are something we, as well as the Harbour Grace detachment, try to do as often as we can, not just during this week of course,” said Vaughan. “It’s an important topic, since there are so many people out there that still drive while under the influence, so I think a week like this really helps push that message, and it also helps us get out there and show everyone in the community a part of what we do as RCMP officers.”

Vaughan said impaired driving is a fairly common occurrence, not only in Newfoundland and Labrador but across the country. National Impaired Driving Prevention Week is a good way to tackle this issue by reminding drivers that checkpoints, such as the one in Clarke’s Beach, are happening, he said.

Hopefully it will make someone think twice before getting behind the wheel after a couple of beers and potentially save lives.

Another major aspect of the week’s message is to inform people what exactly it means to be an impaired driver. Vaughan noted many people immediately think of drinking and driving when the words impaired driving come up, but in fact, the term goes beyond just alcohol.

“If we’ve stopped even one person from getting behind the wheel after a couple drinks or a draw, then it’s a job well done.”

“Anything that can even slightly alter your state of mind, or anything of the sort – that’s impaired driving as well,” he said. “Of course, drinking and driving is a big one, but drugs are actually something a lot of people don’t think about. Driving under the influence of marijuana, or some prescription drugs, is still impaired driving – even though your doctor gave them to you. So we’re hoping that the message of this week really brings awareness to the people that might not understand that.”

Vaughan also added that the checkpoints have been successful in different ways, by stopping impaired drivers and allowing RCMP officers to show the community a part of their job that ultimately makes the roads a safer place to be.

“It’s a part of our job, to make sure people can get home safely, and that’s something I think everyone can appreciate. If we’ve stopped even one person from getting behind the wheel after a couple drinks or a draw, then it’s a job well done.”

Source: The Compass, Carbonear, Newfoundland


Last updated on: 2018-03-27 | Link to this post