Crashed car campaign launches in Calgary to put spotlight on drinking and driving

·2 min read
Mothers Against Drunk Driving launches a crashed car campaign in Calgary ahead of Stampede and as restrictions are lifted. (Axel Tardieu/CBC - image credit)
Mothers Against Drunk Driving launches a crashed car campaign in Calgary ahead of Stampede and as restrictions are lifted. (Axel Tardieu/CBC - image credit)

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has launched its crashed car campaign in Calgary, which includes exhibiting a wrecked vehicle at locations throughout the city.

Rick Lundy, local president of MADD, spoke to a crowd Wednesday and explained that the car was donated by the family of someone who had been killed by an impaired driver.

"We hope that people see the crashed car and make the decision to find an [alternative] way home besides drinking and driving," he said.

"With the resources available today to get people home safely, there's no excuse."

Timing strategic ahead of Stampede

The crashed car will be placed at various high traffic areas throughout Calgary over the next three months, and Lundy says the timing couldn't be better.

"It will be launched a few days before the Stampede, when impaired driving and cannabis use and driving will likely be up," he said.

He encourages Albertans planning on using substances to form a plan ahead of time to help prevent poor decision-making.

"The amount of dollars spent in this province due to drinking and driving is enormous, and the amount of grief that people have had because of impaired driving is enormous."

Curtis Olson, an inspector with the Calgary Police Service, says the campaign is designed to help create an awareness, noting that officers will be out enforcing more as well.

"We also have a very conservative approach toward enforcement, so our checkstops are out here today and you will see them more and more over the course of summer," he said.

In December 2020, the UCP government implemented new legislation for impaired driving rules, which changed penalization and how things are handled during roadside stops.

For most first-time impaired driving offenders, the new rules can mean an immediate $1,000 fine, a 30-day vehicle seizure and mandatory impaired driving education, as well as existing measures such as a licence suspension.

However, in the past six months, officers have started seeing an increase in collisions involving alcohol or drugs, likely due to pandemic restrictions being lifted, Olson says.

"This is just a reality, and so even more so we have to make sure the message is getting out there."

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