MADD Canada

MADD Canada

June 22, 2005 08:58 ET

Call for graduated licence programs with zero tolerance to age 21

MADD Canada lauds CIHI work for focus on problem of young drivers and alcohol -- and repeats call for enhanced graduated licence programs Attention: Health/Medical Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OAKVILLE, ON--(CCNMatthews - June 22, 2005) - Mother Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) welcomed the research released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) that focused on the problem in our country of impaired driving, particularly young drivers and their disproportionate representation in impaired driving fatality statistics.

MADD Canada cites the statistics found within CIHI's research to renew its policy recommendation to provincial governments for enhanced graduate licencing programs. The organization wants to see graduated licence programs include a condition of zero tolerance for alcohol until the age of 21.

"The age group that poses the greatest risk for impaired driving crashes is the young driver, 16 - 21, because they do not have the driving experience, explains Andrew Murie, MADD Canada's CEO. "Provinces would be achieving two important things by making zero tolerance a condition of licencing until a person reaches the age of 21. First, there would be less carnage on our roads because young drivers would not be drinking and driving. Second, young drivers would be establishing good driving and lifestyle habits by not mixing alcohol and/or drugs and driving."

"MADD Canada has been urging provinces and territories to institute a zero tolerance policy for drivers until the age 21 for years, as part of our Rating the Provinces model. The CIHI numbers suggest that this policy initiative would have a tremendous impact on young drivers' safety," says Mr. Murie.

MADD Canada issued a 'best practice' impaired driving legislative model for provincial and territorial governments in 2003 that called for a comprehensive graduated licence program. "In our conversations with government officials, we have emphasized one of the best ways to reduce the number of young drivers being killed on our roads is with a zero tolerance licencing condition. We'll be fortifying our arguments on this policy with the findings from CIHI."

"There are no surprises here, but CIHI's work is welcomed for it substantiates what we have been saying all along," Mr. Murie adds.

For more information on MADD Canada's public policies on impaired driving, visit the www.madd.ca website.

For further information on CIHI's report, visit www.cihi.ca. For MADD Canada comments, call:
Wanda Kristensen, MADD Canada's Program Director 1-800-665-6233, ext. 229

/For further information: Andrew Murie, MADD Canada's CEO 1-800-665-6233, ext. 224/ IN: HEALTH, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Wanda Kristensen, Director of Programs
    Primary Phone: 800-665-6233 ext. 229