MADD Canada

MADD Canada

September 13, 2007 13:15 ET

First Ontario Roadside Memorial Sign For Victims of Impaired Driving

MADD Canada hosted roadside tribute to honour two men who were killed by an impaired driver near Newmarket

Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2007) - Family members of Joseph Sweers and Rupbert Edwards offered moving memories and then helped Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) unveil Ontario's first roadside memorial sign for victims of impaired driving at the side of highway 48, near the intersection of Davis Drive, east of Newmarket.

The roadside sign marks the site of the tragic June 2006 crash that took the lives of the two friends. While on their way to work, Joseph Sweers, age 45, and Rupbert Edwards, 37, were killed instantly when their vehicle was struck by a car driven by an impaired driver.

"Memorial roadside signs serve as a symbol of remembrance and respect for those who have been innocently killed because of alcohol impairment on Ontario's highways," said Margaret Miller, MADD Canada's National President. "For the families and friends who have suffered a tragic loss in an impaired driving crash, this is a fitting tribute that honours in a meaningful way those killed."

"These memorials also serve as a reminder to the public that it is dangerous, and potentially fatal, to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs," commented Mrs. Miller. "The signs should provide a sobering message to motorists."

Police and community leaders joined with family, friends and MADD Canada volunteers to speak about the needless loss of life due to impaired driving. Margaret Williams, the local MADD York Chapter President, wants to see an end to the crime. "It is infuriating to know that impaired driving remains Canada's number one cause of criminal death. On average four people a day are killed and another 190 are seriously injured daily in impaired driving crashes."

"All of us need to do more, speak out more, call 911, and do what we can to help make our roads safer. If Canadians would follow the tips MADD Canada makes in 'Campaign 911' and report suspected impaired drivers to the police, we would see a significant reduction in people being killed on our roads," said Mrs. Williams

MADD Canada hopes the roadside markers will send a strong message concerning the consequences of impaired driving. The organization worked with government officials for years in establishing this memorial sign program in Ontario. MADD Canada CEO Andrew Murie commented, "We thank Ontario Ministry of Transportation for its part in getting this program to the point that we are unveiling our first sign, here, today. MADD Canada also wants to express our appreciation to MPP Julia Munro, who introduced this initiative at Queen's Park and has been a real support in championing the roadside memorial program for victims of impaired driving."
/For further information: Margaret Miller, National President @ 902-758-5328
Chris George, Media Relations @ 289-241-4095/ IN: POLITICS, SOCIAL, OTHER

Contact Information

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