Summer CounterAttack roadchecks begin this long weekend

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Summer CounterAttack roadchecks begin this long weekend

June 28, 2013

Summer CounterAttack roadchecks begin this long weekend

On Canada Day alone, an average of three people are killed and 155 injured in 601 crashes every year in B.C. Two of these fatalities are people killed in crashes involving impaired driving.*

Today, the B.C. government, police and ICBC kicked off this summer's CounterAttack campaign to ask drivers to plan ahead this long weekend and throughout the summer if their activities involve alcohol.

"Our tough impaired driving law is having a positive impact on the safety of British Columbians," said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. "While we've seen tremendous improvements, we're committing over $1 million to enhanced enforcement this year, which includes the summer CounterAttack campaign, to ensure that police across the province can dedicate officers to enforcement of the impaired driving laws and other road safety priorities. This is above and beyond the work that is done every day by police officers throughout the province to keep our roads safe."

Since B.C.'s Immediate Roadside Prohibition program came into effect in September 2010, there has been an unprecedented 51 per cent reduction in alcohol-related traffic fatalities, with an estimated 143 lives saved.**

"We never want to see families suffer the tragic loss of a loved one in an impaired related crash," said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "That's why the CounterAttack campaign ramps up its efforts in the summertime, when the camping and BBQ season begins, to help keep everyone safe on the roads. Please remember, if your summer festivities involve drinking, plan for a safe ride home ahead of time."

"Rest assured that police all over B.C. will be out in full force this summer targeting those who are foolish enough to get behind the wheel while impaired and put their lives and others at risk," said Chief Constable Jamie Graham, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. "We see the devastating results of impaired driving all too often which is why we're committed to working hard to keep impaired drivers off our roads."

If your summer activities involve alcohol, make a plan before you head out. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options to get home safely - call a taxi, take transit or call a sober friend. Police across the province will be looking for drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol at CounterAttack roadchecks throughout the summer.

"We want everyone to enjoy their summer and have a good time," said Mark Blucher, ICBC's interim president and CEO. "Whether you're golfing, boating or hosting a BBQ with friends, make sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home. Share the responsibility and take your turn as the designated driver to get your friends and family home safely."

ICBC supports CounterAttack through an education campaign and funding for enhanced police enforcement and promotes the use of designated drivers with businesses, sports facilities and community groups to help prevent impaired driving and make B.C.'s roads safer for everyone.

For more tips and information on the summer CounterAttack campaign, visit the campaign page on icbc.com.

Regional statistics*:

  • On Canada Day alone, an average of 105 people are injured in 366 crashes every year in the Lower Mainland.
  • On Canada Day alone, an average of 22 people are injured in 99 crashes every year in the Southern Interior.
  • On Canada Day alone, an average of 20 people are injured in 90 crashes every year on Vancouver Island.
  • On Canada Day alone, an average of 8 people are injured in 40 crashes every year in North Central B.C.

*Crashes and injured victims from ICBC data (2008 to 2012); fatal victims from police data (2007 to 2011). Impaired driving related data includes alcohol, illegal drugs and medicine.

**2012 and 2013 fatal data is preliminary. Data is based on police reports from October 1, 2010 to March 31, 2013. In the first 30 months of B.C.'s Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) program, fatalities due to alcohol-related crashes have dropped to an average of 56 per year. This compares to a five-year average of 114 fatalities before the IRP program came into effect in September 2010.

Media contact:
Lindsay Olsen
604-982-4759