MADD Canada

MADD Canada

December 02, 2009 09:32 ET

Most Western jurisdictions fail to improve impaired driving laws

MADD Canada’s Rating the Provinces and Territories 2009 Report shows most Western provinces and the territories are making little progress on meaningful legislative reform

Attention: News Editor EDMONTON/ALBERTA/MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2009) - Manitoba continues to be a leader in effective impaired driving laws and British Columbia made modest changes, but the remaining provinces and territories in Western Canada have made few significant legislative improvements.

"The results of MADD Canada's Rating the Provinces and Territories Report show improvement in some areas but, on the whole, there is much work to be done in many jurisdictions if we want to substantially reduce impaired driving," said Louise Knox, MADD Canada's Chapter Services Manager - Western Region.

Rating the Provinces and Territories: The 2009 Report is MADD Canada's comprehensive study of provincial and territorial impaired driving laws. It identifies legislative initiatives that will make the most significant reductions in alcohol and drug-related crashes, fatalities and injuries. Full details on the 2009 Report can be found on MADD Canada's web site (www.madd.ca/english/research/tbor2009.pdf).

Manitoba ranked 2nd with a grade of A-. It has fallen slightly since the last full Rating the Provinces and Territories Report in 2006, when it ranked 1st with a Grade of A-. MADD Canada encourages the province to continue its leadership role by: enhancing the conditions of its graduated licensing program; enacting a 7-14 day administrative licence suspension program for drivers who police believe to be reasonably impaired or who have BACs over .05%.

* Alberta has made little improvement, despite having some of highest impaired driving rates in the country. The province rated 6th, with a grade of B-, largely on the basis of its existing program. MADD Canada recommends a number of legislative measures which Alberta should introduce to reduce impaired driving, including: an administrative vehicle forfeiture program, a .00% BAC for all drivers under 21 and all drivers in the first five years of licensure; and a 7-14 day administrative licence suspension program for drivers who police believe to be reasonably impaired or who have BACs over .05%.

* British Columbia made modest improvements. It ranked 7th, with a grade of C+. Key among the recommendations for British Columbia: the introduction of a 7-14 day administrative licence suspension program for drivers who police believe to be reasonably impaired or who have BACs over .05%; and a .00% BAC for all drivers under 21 and all drivers in the first five years of licensure. MADD Canada is pleased to note the provincial government has shown an interest in moving forward with new legislative measures to reduce impaired driving.

* Saskatchewan ranked 5th, with a grade of B. The province scored well for some of its programs but still needs to implement several significant measures, including: a 7-14 day administrative licence suspension program for drivers who police believe to be reasonably impaired or who have BACs over .05%; and a .00% BAC for all drivers under 21 and all drivers in the first five years of licensure.

* The Yukon (10th / C-), the Northwest Territories (11th / D+) and Nunavut (13th / F) have made limited progress in some areas but are lacking key programs and laws to address the problem of impaired driving. MADD Canada recognizes the unique challenges these jurisdictions face and is hopeful for an opportunity to work with them towards introducing the legislative priorities outlined in Rating the Provinces and Territories: The 2009 Report.

"We need to make meaningful changes now," Ms. Knox said. "Impaired driving deaths and injuries are higher today than they were in 1999. Each province and territory has a responsibility to use their legislative powers to make significant road safety improvements."

MADD Canada began working on the Rating the Provinces and Territories Report more than 10 years ago as a way to identify best practices in road safety and initiate a dialogue with provincial and territorial governments on the critical role they can play in reducing impaired driving.

Ontario took top honours in the 2009 Report, receiving a grade of A- and ranking 1st among all provinces and territories. Ontario's impaired driving reforms include: a comprehensive graduated licensing program; 3-day administrative licence suspensions for drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of .05%; a comprehensive vehicle impoundment program; and a mandatory alcohol interlock program for all federal impaired driving offences.
/For further information: Louise Knox – Chapter Services Manager – Western Region at 1-866-900-6233 or 780-288-5372.
Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer, MADD Canada at 1-800-665-6233, ext. 224.
Robert Solomon, National Director of Legal Policy, MADD Canada at 519-661-3603.
/ IN: JUSTICE, SOCIAL, TRANSPORT

Contact Information

  • Louise Knox, Chapter Services Manager - Western Region, MADD Canada
    Primary Phone: 866-900-6233