MADD Canada

MADD Canada

May 17, 2006 15:31 ET

'Ontario's resting on its laurels' : MADD Canada

'Ontario's resting on its laurels' in making roads safer -- Organization calls on Premier to follow Manitoba's lead in curbing impaired driving fatalities Attention: Media Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 17, 2006) - The most recent statistics available for impaired driving fatalities show that there was a three percent increase on Ontario roads. The last major impaired driving initiative in the Province was years ago - passed by the previous government. These facts should not please the Ontario Minister of Transportation states Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), who are calling on the Ontario Government to become proactive in making the Province's roads safer from impaired driving.

Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer for MADD Canada did not like the lack of commitment and focus of Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar's response to MPP Garfield Dunlop in the Legislature this afternoon. "We have met with the Minister on a number of occasions and he well aware that Ontario has stalled in improving the safety of motorists from incidents of impaired driving. It is unacceptable that this Government is resting on the laurels of impaired driving initiatives dating back over five years. It seems to be satisfied with the status quo when it comes to saving lives and injuries on our roads."

"We call on Premier McGuinty to follow the political leadership demonstrated in other jurisdictions and become proactive in the fight against impaired driving," says Mr. Murie. "In our Rating the Provinces reports, Ontario has slipped over the last six years and, in the last two years, we have signaled to Mr. Takhar that there was great room for improvement in making Ontario's roads safer from impaired driving crashes. By contrast, Manitoba is continuously working on improving their laws, programs and enforcement - just, yesterday, Manitoba announced another new graduated license measure for novice drivers of zero BAC for five years."

In a press conference to unveil its research document on youth and impaired driving, entitled, Opportunities for Progress, MADD Canada was critical of the lack of action from the McGuinty Government. The organization's National President Karen Dunham stated:

"Here in Ontario, we urge this Government to stop resting on the laurels of impaired driving measures taken 5 to 7 years ago. The statistics in Ontario speak volumes: 2003 is the most recent annual statistics available and we see that fatalities actually went up by 3 per cent in the Province. There has been no sign of progress as far as the numbers of fatalities and no new impaired driving initiatives in the last five years. We say: 'The status quo is not acceptable.' Our message to Premier McGuinty and this Government is to review current Canadian and international developments in traffic safety and become pro-active in the fight against impaired driving.

"Given that we know of effective measures to curb incidents involving youth and impaired driving, governments have a moral imperative to address this problem. It is possible to reduce the number of young Canadians killed by impaired driving. We ask our provincial politicians to act on the opportunities they have for progress in this very serious matter."

MADD Canada's new report on youth and impaired driving can be accessed on their website - www.madd.ca.
/For further information: www.madd.ca/ IN: JUSTICE, POLITICS, TRANSPORT

Contact Information

  • Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer
    Primary Phone: 800-665-6233 ext. 224
    E-mail: amurie@madd.ca