MADD Canada

MADD Canada

April 17, 2013 12:30 ET

British Columbia Victim of Impaired Driving to Visit MPs in Ottawa to Share His Perspective

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 17, 2013) - For nearly 20 years, British Columbia resident Bob Rorison has been dealing with the physical, emotional and financial impact of an impaired driving crash.

In 1994, his car was hit by an impaired driver who ran a red light. Bob was left with serious injuries that prevented him from working for an extended period. He lost his job and his home, had to file for bankruptcy and suffered through depression.

Before the crash, impaired driving and its devastating consequences had not been something Bob thought much about. Like so many people, he never thought it would happen to him. After the crash, he has lived with those consequences every day.

"I still struggle with the physical injuries," Bob said, "but I have worked hard, for a very long time, to get back to a place in my life where I am happy and am thriving. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to do that."

Given how impaired driving has impacted his life for the last two decades, it is easy to understand Bob's frustration at the fact that people continue to drive impaired.

"Everyone knows the risks. Everyone has seen the public service announcements. Everyone has watched the news and seen the stories on yet another impaired driving crash," Bob said. "Yet people still do it. There has to be more we can do to change this dangerous behaviour and reduce impaired driving."

With that goal in mind, Bob will join a small group of MADD Canada representatives from around the country in Ottawa on April 25. During National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, they will meet with select Members of Parliament to share their perspectives and to talk about what is needed to reduce the tragic impact of impaired driving in Canada.

British Columbia has made strides in reducing impaired driving by strengthening its administrative sanctions at the .05% BAC level in 2010. That and other changes have helped drive the rate of impairment-related crash deaths in BC down by 46% compared to the previous five years. But more can be done at the Federal level.

MADD Canada representatives will speak with MPs about a 2009 report released by the Federal Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights called "Ending Alcohol-Impaired Driving: A Common Approach". The report contained a number of recommendations to reduce impaired driving in Canada, including: tougher sanctions for repeat impaired drivers, tougher sanctions for those with BACs in excess of .16% BAC, and random roadside breath testing.

MADD Canada and its representatives are hoping that the visit will lead to renewed interest in the Committee's report and action on its recommendations, with the end goal being a reduction in impaired driving rates in Canada.

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."

Despite the acceptance of the report in principle, and the undisputed need for more to be done to stop impaired driving, there has been no move on the part of government to implement any of the recommendations in the report.

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 since the report was released and April of 2013.

MADD Canada's analysis of random breath testing, based on the experiences with that measure in other countries, indicates that random breath testing would prevent more than 200 impairment-related crash deaths and more than 14,000 impairment-related crash injuries each year.

"We are not saying that new measures will prevent all impaired driving crashes, but they will prevent some of those deaths and injuries," said MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk. "There is more we can be doing to stop the carnage and loss caused by impaired driving. Random breath testing and the other recommendations in the report will have a significant impact on the reduction of impaired driving in Canada. We need to move forward on this."

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.

Contact Information

  • To learn more and to speak with MADD Canada's
    representatives in advance of their visit to Ottawa,
    contact: MADD Metro Vancouver Chapter
    Bob Rorison
    604-992-3355
    rob-ror@hotmail.com

    MADD Canada
    Denise Dubyk
    National President
    403-970-8733
    www.madd.ca