“Don’t Drive Impaired” is the message painted across a wrecked truck on Thursday morning just off of Albert Street South near Gordon Road in Regina.
The black Ford truck, which has a smashed out windshield, folded hood and dented front end, is part of a new campaign by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Regina. The truck has been damaged on purpose to appear as if it was involved in a collision with a motorist that was under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
The awareness campaign aims to prevent impaired driving this summer. From June to September, the truck will be on display at various locations across Regina.
Heather Tatham, member of the MADD Regina Chapter board, hopes the display shows people what the aftermath looks like when a person drives impaired and is involved in a collision.
“This is like a moving billboard. We’re all about increasing awareness to the general public,” said Tatham during the launch of the campaign on Thursday.
Tatham has personal experience with the efforts of encouraging people to not drive impaired. Seven years ago, her husband Gary was killed by an impaired driver. He was out on a Sunday at 7:00 a.m. on Albert Street North where he had finished washing his car before the collision happened.
Tatham said something that is so preventable ended up destroying her family.
“My husband has missed the birth of four of his grandchildren. He has missed the weddings of two of his kids. There’s a big gap that’s left,” she added. “It’s not something that goes away. Every day you wake up and you think about it.”
The campaign is a partnership between SGI, the Regina Police Service, the City of Regina and TRK Towing.
Over 500 impaired driving instances in May
A total of 507 impaired driving offences were reported in the month of May as part of SGI’s Traffic Safety Spotlight which focused on catching impaired drivers.
Of the 507 incidents, SGI said 366 were Criminal Code Charges and 141 resulted in roadside suspensions.
SGI spokesperson Tyler McMurchy said this is the most impaired driving offences recorded since they started doing their monthly spotlights.
“It’s not necessarily surprising since it’s a month when police are focused on catching impaired drivers,” mentioned McMurchy. “We had put out a release before the May long weekend that there were going to be a number of check stops around the province.”
May’s number is an increase from what was recorded in April which was 456 impaired driving offences.
Also last month, police issued 727 distracted driving tickets, including 617 for using a cellphone while driving. 525 tickets were given for seatbelt and car set offences, while 7,113 tickets were handed for speeding and aggressive driving.