Uber fantastic impaired driving initiative gets two thumbs up

Research says that the single biggest reason people decide to drink and drive is the low risk of getting caught. And that’s no joke; by the time they’ve been arrested, impaired drivers have likely driven impaired anywhere between 80 and 2,000 times. Unbelievable!

So how do we change that?

One program making strides towards change is MADD Canada’s “Campaign 911.” It’s a Canada-wide campaign to encourage and empower the Canadian public to report suspected impaired driving by calling 911.

But calls alone aren’t enough. The problem with the current system is that a higher volume of suspected impaired driver calls does not necessarily generate a higher number of files or arrests. Case in point, in Saint John, NB, while calls for suspected impaired drivers have increased by 55% since 2004, the number of “gone-on-arrivals” has quadrupled.

Well, this past Canada Day, the Saint John Police Force implemented a new initiative to take MADD Canada’s 911 program one step further and it should have a big impact on lowering impaired driving rates. It has me sitting up and taking notice; major uberlicious factor.

The repeat target vehicle program is a novel way to track people who repeatedly drink and drive, but don’t necessarily get caught. The program uses licence plate information from people who call in suspected impaired drivers. The repeat vehicles are then plotted on a map, along with data from police systems, to identify if the vehicles have been involved in other criminal activity or driving infractions. Police officers can then track the vehicles and use the information to help determine if a vehicle should be stopped and if a driver should take a breathalyzer etc. Love it!

The repeat target vehicles program will work well because drivers are typically at a higher risk of driving impaired again within 30 days of the first incident, giving police an opportunity to track the vehicles and make an arrest. Or as I like to say “nail the bastard!”

People who own vehicles identified as risks will also be sent registered letters, personally delivered by a uniformed officer. Eeeeekeee…major uberlicious!!! Here’s hoping this will have a preventative effect, which is just as important as arresting impaired drivers.

The repeat target vehicle program targets vehicles, not necessarily people, avoiding legal issues with profiling.

Impaired drivers take note, your number is up and you have reason to worry because your vehicles can now be flagged and tracked. Groovy!

Check out the article: New Initiative gets kudos from MADD Canada (PDF).

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