"It won't happen to me" seems to be a common term when dealing with impaired driving and the incidents that stem from them, now SGI and one victim of the dangerous act are teaming up to spread that information.

Nolan Barnes was a regular high school student ten years ago but, one night following a bad decision, his life, and nine other lives were changed forever.

He was a passenger in a vehicle driven by an impaired driver back in May 2010, a choice which left him paraplegic.

Driving from Saskatoon to Yorkton following a night of drugs and alcohol, the vehicle Barnes was in skidded off the road, breaking his collar bone and breaking multiple vertebrae in his back.

The crash killed one of his friends and left eight others injured.

This month, SGI's Traffic Safety Spotlight is on impaired driving, and SGI is sharing Barnes' story to show the real-life consequences of impaired driving.

Manager of Media Relations with SGI, Tyler McMurchy, said that Barnes' story would hopefully connect with people more than the alarming statistics behind impaired driving.

Barnes resing in hospital after the collision. 

"Unfortunately, there are hundreds of people injured every year in Saskatchewan. We've seen positive trends when it comes to the number of injuries, but there are still hundreds of people including 368 people injured on Saskatchewan roads in 2017 as a result of impaired driving."

"For some people, those injuries can be very devastating, and the impact can last for their entire lives. One of the ways that we're highlighting this is by introducing people to Nolan Barnes."

Barnes now travels to various schools and corporate events, spreading his message of not mixing travel with intoxication.

Becoming a voice against what took his legs away from him, Barnes said it was great to be a voice of reason on the topic, and to be featured by SGI.

"I'm really honoured when people think of me when they think of impaired driving, because I've been speaking about this for quite a few years now in an effort to change the perception on drinking and driving, especially here in Saskatchewan.

"I find that we're really lax, and people often times think of more of the legal side of things as opposed to the safety side of things... when people see me, it's a visual representation of what can happen, and what does happen often when it comes to impaired driving."

McMurchy also said that they want to take the focus away from what people usually think of with impaired driving, the legal ramifications, and look at the potential for loss of life.

One point that Barnes brings up in his speeches at schools is the path that led him to the crash, and how all of his bad decisions led up to that moment.

Planning for a safe ride home before partaking in any impairing behaviour is one way to ensure you arrive alive.

Source: Swift Current Online


Last updated on: 2019-09-14 | Link to this post