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Ads, enforcement ramp up to counter impaired driving

June 29, 2012

Counter Attack

As summer CounterAttack road checks ramp up in July, about $1 million will be added to enhance traffic enforcement budgets. This will increase the number of police roadblocks and the likelihood of catching those who ignore warnings about drinking and driving, as well as those who drive while impaired by drugs.

Those warnings will continue in related awareness advertising. A TV ad airing throughout June has reminded drivers to take their turn as a designated driver, and a CounterAttack TV ad begins airing provincewide July 2. Designated driver messaging - highlighted in bars, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and sports venues throughout the year - will also be prominent at special events this summer.

Police will use the additional enforcement funding to set up multiple roadblocks at specific times and in new locations, as well as using other enforcement tactics to help make B.C. roads safer over the Canada Day long weekend and into the summer vacation season.

Quotes:

Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General -
"We know people want to enjoy themselves this summer - whether it's at a family barbecue, a winery or after a round of golf. We just want them to plan ahead if they're going to drink. An awareness campaign in places where alcohol is consumed will be reminding everyone to ensure they have a safe ride home. Today we're also supporting enforcement so that people who don't make the smart choice will face the consequences. For those who decide to drink and drive there is a good chance they'll get caught. Summer CounterAttack will be focused on both awareness and enforcement. This summer, please make the smart choice and plan for a safe ride home."

Fiona Temple, director of road safety, ICBC -
"ICBC invests in CounterAttack awareness to help prevent the tragedies caused by impaired driving and make our roads safer for everyone. We want everyone to enjoy their summer - have a great time and make sure to plan ahead for a safe ride home. Share the responsibility of being a designated driver and take your turn to help your friends and family get home safely."

Chief Const. Jamie Graham, chair, B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee -
"We are beyond lecturing people about the evils of drinking or doing drugs and driving. We all must show personal responsibility to keep our roads safe from senseless deaths and injuries. Police all over the province welcome the resumption of Immediate Roadside Prohibitions (IRPs) and the additional funding to support CounterAttack. We'll be out there setting up road checks in communities across the province because we know all too well the tragic impact of impaired driving. Be responsible - don't drink or consume drugs and drive - it will cost you more than you can imagine."

Insp. Ted Schinbein, Vancouver Police Department Traffic Services -
"We welcome both the return of Immediate Roadside Prohibitions and the additional funding for enforcement. These will help us to increase the safety of Vancouver's roads over the summer months and in the years ahead - and remove drinking or drugged drivers from our roadways, protecting them and others from greater harm."

Quick Facts:

  • Police and ICBC statistics for the past five years indicate that one person is killed every Canada Day in B.C. in a road crash involving alcohol or drug impairment. Overall, Canada Day typically sees over 600 crashes, more than 150 injuries and two deaths on B.C. roads.
  • Under a memorandum of understanding with the government, ICBC provides funding to support CounterAttack and other enhanced enforcement. This is on top of impaired driving enforcement conducted by policing agencies throughout the year across the province.
  • In all, RCMP-policed jurisdictions will share $700,000 and municipal police departments, $300,000 for summer CounterAttack overtime.
  • In their first year, the original IRPs cut the alcohol-related death toll on B.C. roads by 40 per cent, compared to the average of the previous five years. Over the same time period, road deaths linked to all forms of impairment, including drugs, fell 45 per cent.
  • On June 15, B.C.'s tough administrative penalties for drinking and driving returned to the roadside, backed by a fairer, more rigorous roadside and appeal process. The penalties remain unchanged.

Learn More:

Media contacts:

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice
250 356-6961

Kate Pasieka
ICBC
604 240-7404