Preventing tradgedy

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Making safe and sensible decisions during the holiday season should be easy, but statistics show there are still too many Canadians who get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. That's why it's important for MADD to continue raising awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving and the need for governments to toughen laws.
MADD Canada kicked off its 22nd Project Red Ribbon campaign last week urging Nova Scotians to tie a ribbon to their vehicle as a reminder that drinking and driving still exists. Along with raising awareness, the ribbons are a tribute to those who have been injured or killed in crashes involving impaired drivers and a reminder that impaired driving is the number one criminal cause of death in this country.
We have come a long way in how we regard impaired driving. At one time having a few drinks and then driving home was socially acceptable and the punishment for an offence was almost non-existent. Now, with stricter penalties and more rigid enforcement, most people think hard about getting behind the wheel or accepting a ride when they know the driver has been drinking or doing drugs.
Yet despite educational efforts, it still happens. For those who are victims of impaired drivers, including family and friends, the cost continues in ruined lives, broken families and painful memories.
MADD Canada's Atlantic chapter services manager Susan MacAskill still remembers the day in 1993 when her father was struck by an impaired driver near Masstown. The organization's national president, Margaret Miller of Shubenacadie, felt she had to do something after her son, Springhill police officer Bruce Miller, was killed by an impaired driver on P.E.I. in 2004.
These are just two examples of the pain inflicted by events that are 100 per cent preventable. Impaired driving takes a high toll and the holidays are full of painful memories for those who have lost loved ones because of irresponsible behaviour. Consider what could happen to you and your family should you make the wrong decision during the holiday period. Take a taxi instead of an ambulance, police car or hearse and arrive alive.

Organizations: MADD

Geographic location: Shubenacadie, P.E.I.

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