MADD Canada

MADD Canada

June 14, 2005 08:36 ET

MADD Canada's 2005 Provincial Report Released Today

Review Sees Promising Progress with Impaired Driving Laws across the Country / MADD to Govts: "Focus on those jurisdictions introducing new effective measures" Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OAKVILLE, ON--(CCNMatthews - June 14, 2005) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) today released Rating the Provinces and Territories: The 2005 Progress Report that reviews and compares the efforts of provinces and territories in introducing new impaired driving legislation. The conclusion drawn by the organization is that certain jurisdictions have made important advances in ensuring safer roads, while other jurisdictions need to follow this example.

"Provincial and territorial governments should review their impaired driving laws with a focus on enacting new measures that have proven effective in other Canadian jurisdictions," says Karen Dunham, MADD Canada's National President. "There are ways to make our roads significantly safer from impaired driving crashes. Our governments need to act to introduce and implement these known measures."

"Provinces and territories only need to look at one another's legislation to find good examples of effective impaired driving laws and practices in our country," Mrs. Dunham adds.

In its review of the jurisdictions' activities in the past two years, MADD Canada reveals that three jurisdictions have made considerable progress and are setting good examples in the fight against impaired driving (Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and N.W.T.); some show signs of promise (Alberta, Saskatchewan and P.E.I.); and, others have done little or nothing, and need improvement (B.C., Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Yukon, and Nunavut).

In its 2005 Progress Report, MADD Canada provides kudos to three jurisdictions:

• Manitoba passed legislation to give police explicit authority to demand documentation, to question drivers about alcohol and drug consumption, and demand that suspected impaired drivers participate in field sobriety tests. Manitoba also expanded the grounds for vehicle impoundment.

• Newfoundland and Labrador proclaimed into force amendments to the Highway Traffic Act. The changes include: increased fines for violations to its graduated licencing program; the introduction of a 90-day administrative licence suspension program; increased provincial suspensions for repeat federal impaired driving offenders; the introduction of a vehicle impoundment program; and, the introduction of an alcohol interlock program. .

• Northwest Territories made several important changes to the Motor Vehicles Act, including strengthening its program for new drivers and its short-term roadside licence suspension program. It also introduced a 90-day administrative licence suspension program, which includes remedial measures, and a vehicle impoundment program.

Andrew Murie, the organization's CEO, states that MADD Canada is actively pursuing new impaired driving measures with all of the governments. "We know that provincial and territorial governments do take the fight against impaired driving seriously and we are pleased with the progress
being made across our country. The 2005 Progress Report is designed to further assist the provinces and territories in their traffic legislation reviews. Certainly, we look forward to our continued discussions with provincial and territorial officials to ensure that effective measures are considered and acted upon within each jurisdictions."

Professor Robert Solomon, MADD Canada's Legal Director and member of the University of Western Ontario's Law Faculty co-authored the 2005 Progress Report as well as the Rating the Provinces 2003 Report Card. Professor Solomon explains MADD Canada's public policy initiative, "Our documents provide a comprehensive review of the provincial and territorial impaired driving legislation. Our goal is to initiate an ongoing dialogue on the most effective impaired driving laws and practices in our country."

"We have graded each jurisdiction on specific traffic safety issues: the protection of young drivers, enactment of effective police enforcement powers, and development of policies addressing persistent drinking drivers and repeat offenders. These are areas in which Canada has demonstrably lagged behind the world leaders in traffic safety - and we hope our law makers will close the gap in short-order. This is possible because effective measures are known and certain provinces and territories have begun to take the necessary steps in making our roads safer and saving lives."

Every three years, MADD Canada is committed to grading the jurisdictions on their impaired driving legislation. Every year, the organization conducts a review of progress made. MADD Canada will be releasing its next comprehensive report card next year, in June 2006.

*** The public can view The 2005 Progress Report and other materials relating to the Rating the Provinces report from a link off the top page of the MADD Canada website - www.madd.ca

Visit www.madd.ca for a full media release. For further information, call:

Karen Dunham, National President (506) 650-7473
Andrew Murie, CEO 1-800-665-6233, ext. 224
Robert Solomon, Legal Director and co-author of the report (519) 661-3603

Regional spokespersons are also available:

Susan MacAskill - Atlantic Provinces 1-866-798-6233
Marie-Claude Morin - Quebec 1-877-392-6233, (514) 961-6611
Andrew Murie - Ontario 1-800-665-6233, ext. 224
Louise Knox - Western Provinces and Territorial Governments 1-866-900-6233, ext. 222
Bob Rorison - B.C. (604) 839-5198

/For further information: Visit www.madd.ca -- and go to 'latest news' in right-hand column for full media materials

Karen Dunham, National President (506) 650-7473
Robert Solomon, Legal Direct and co-author of the Report (519) 661-3603/ IN: JUSTICE, POLITICS, TRANSPORT

Contact Information

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