Delta police, the Corporation of Delta and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada announced this week a new program aimed at taking impaired drivers off the road.
MADD Canada's Campaign 911 encourages residents to call 911 to report suspected impaired drivers to police.
The program was launched two years ago and hundred of communities across the country now display road signs urging drivers to call 911 if they see a suspected impaired driver.
Delta is one of the first municipalities in the Lower Mainland to launch the program.
"It offers a real and tangible way for citizens to help police take impaired drivers off the road," said Bob Rorison, MADD Metro Vancouver chapter president.
Last year, 20 people in the Lower Mainland were killed in crashes involving impaired drivers and over the last five years, 143 lives have been lost in alcohol-related crashes.
"That's way too many," Rorison said. "The tragedy is these deaths and injuries are preventable."
On a May evening last year, Markita Kaulius's 22-year-old daughter became one of those statistics.
Kassandra Kaulius was on her way home from a softball game in Surrey when an impaired driver hit the car she was driving.
"My daughter went to a softball game on May 3, 2011 and came home in an urn," she said, adding that if someone had called 911 to report that driver that night, her daughter might still be alive today.
"Please, please call 911 to report an impaired driver... Everyone deserves to get home safely."
The woman charged in the crash pleaded guilty earlier this summer to a number of charges, including driving over .08 causing death. She will be sentenced in December.
The new signs have been erected at seven locations around Delta.
"As chair of the Delta police board and mayor of Delta, I can't stress enough the importance of safety on our roads," said Mayor Lois Jackson.
Given Delta's proximity to the water, the program has been extended to the waterways and "Don't Boat Impaired" signs will soon be strategically placed at boat launches throughout the community.
Chief Jim Cessford called impaired driving a "serious threat to our communities."
"If we just save even one life, we're accomplished something here today."
10 signs of a possible impaired driver:
- Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Tailgating and changing lanes frequently
- Making exceptionally wide turns
- Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
- Overshooting or stopping well before stop signs or stop lights
- Disregarding signals and lights
- approaching signals or leaving intersections too quickly or slowly
- Driving without headlights, failing to lower high beams or leaving turn signals on
- Driving with windows open in cold or inclement
If you see a driver you suspect is impaired, you should call 911 and give the following information:
- Your location
- A description of the vehicle
- License plate
- Colour, make and model of the vehicle
- The vehicle's direction of travel
- A description of the driver
Police urge drivers that suspect they are following an impaired driver to always maintain a safe distance, always wear a seatbelt and pull over before calling 911. Never try to apprehend an impaired driver yourself.
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