Jun 21, 2012 - NEW INITIATIVES PUTS A FACE ON VICTIMS OF DRUNK DRIVING

Decal featuring Michael Knox

MADD Canada and Westcan Bulk Transport have come together for a new initiative to prevent people from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

This comes just a week ahead of tougher drunk driving penalties taking effect in Alberta.

On Thursday morning, MADD and Westcan held a news conference to unveil a new decal that will be placed on 40 Westcan semi-trailers.

The decal is a photo of 16-year-old Michael Knox, who was killed in a collision caused by an impaired driver in 1999.

The image urges motorists to not drink and drive and to call 911 if they suspect a drunk driver.

“I think remembering Michael is just another way to send a powerful message to Albertans that this is a serious issue that needs to be taken seriously,” said Transportation Minister Ric McIver, who was there to help unveil the decal.

He said the image will help keep the roads safe by reminding motorists there’s always another person behind the wheel of the other vehicle.

“This actually connects to the fact that real people are at stake and real people are at risk.”

CEO of Westcan Bulk Transport Tom Kenny said the company was looking for an initiative through which they could give back to the community. Staff felt supporting safe driving was a good fit since their jobs keep them on the road much of the time.

“It's very important to us, we're a very safety oriented company and we deliver dangerous goods everyday and highway safety is of paramount importance to us,” Kenny said.

Michael’s mother Louise Knox was also at the unveiling and became tearful while talking about her son and her memories about his life.

“If his photo serves as a reminder to someone not to drink and drive, I think he'd be pretty darn proud of that,” Knox said.

The tougher penalty for drinking and driving in Alberta rolls out on July 1st. Soon drivers pulled over with a blood alcohol level higher than .08 will lose their licenses immediately and won’t be allowed to drive until charges are resolved.

In addition, starting on September 1st there will be a 72-hour license suspension for those found with blood alcohol levels between .05 and .08.

“People can go and enjoy themselves, but they need to make a plan to get them and their loved ones home safely, that’s what this is about,” McIver said.

Source: Global News Edmonton

 

 

Last updated on: 2012-08-01 | Link to this post