OAKVILLE, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/24/13 -- As Canada observes National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (April 21 to 27), a group of impaired driving victims will be in Ottawa on Thursday to share their perspectives and concerns with some Members of Parliament (MPs).
Specifically, the group will raise their concern about the lack of progress in implementing recommendations made by the Federal Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in its 2009 report entitled "Ending Alcohol-Impaired Driving: A Common Approach".
The report examined the problem of impaired driving in Canada and offered recommendations to help address it. MADD Canada's representatives are asking MPs to support our call for the government to move forward with three of the recommendations from that report:
-- the implementation of random breath testing-- tougher sentences for repeat impaired driving offenders-- tougher sentences for offenders with BACs in excess of .16% (double the legal limit).
"This report was released in 2009 and it contained some tangible ways to reduce impaired driving deaths and injuries, and ways to deal more strongly with those offenders who repeatedly put themselves and everyone around them at great risk," said MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk. "But today, nearly four years later, there has been no move to implement those recommendations."
From a policy perspective, random breath testing is recognized as a best practice in the reduction of impaired driving. It has resulted in significant and sustained reductions in impaired driving crash deaths in the numerous countries which have adopted it. Based on the international results, MADD Canada estimates random breath death would prevent more than 200 impairment-related crash deaths and more than 14,000 injuries in Canada each year.
The report was accepted by the government in principle, with Federal Justice Minister and Attorney General Rob Nicholson noting that the report "will greatly assist the Government in its ongoing efforts to make the impaired driving provisions of the Criminal Code more effective and to contribute to reducing the carnage on our roads caused by alcohol-impaired drivers."
The MADD Canada representatives are individuals who have lost loved ones in impaired driving crashes and victims who have been injured themselves in impaired driving crashes. They know the grief, devastation and challenges that follow an impaired driving crash, and their experiences are all the more tragic considering impaired driving is completely, 100% preventable.
In the year that report was released, 1,074 people were killed in impaired driving crashes and 63,338 were injured. With those numbers as a basis, MADD Canada estimates more than 4,100 people have been killed and more than 240,000 injured in impairment-related crashes in the nearly four years since the report was released.
"We recognize that the three recommendations we are talking about will not stop impaired driving entirely," Ms. Dubyk said. "But each one will have a valuable impact in the fight to stop this crime. We urge the government to move forward with these three recommendations and we are asking MPs to join that call."
About MADD Canada
MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. For more information, visit www.madd.ca.
To learn more and to speak with MADD Canada's
representatives, contact: MADD Canada
Chief Executive Officer