The Estevan chapter for Mothers Against Drunk Driving continued its efforts to create awareness of the battle against impaired driving by hosting a town hall-style event Saturday afternoon in downtown Estevan.
Representatives of the chapter were joined by the Estevan Police Service, Estevan RCMP, Estevan Fire Rescue Service, Estevan city council, Saskatchewan Government Insurance and others for the event.
Connie Hagel, the volunteer co-ordinator of the local chapter, discussed a couple of initiatives. The first is the Report Impaired Drivers line. Hagel said a lot of people still don’t realize it exists, even though it has been around for almost a decade.
“A lot of people don’t know they can call 911 to report impaired driving,” said Hagel. “So I can’t stress enough that if you’re driving in the city or on the highway, and you see somebody driving erratically, and you feel this person might be impaired, pull over and call 911.”
From her perspective, an impaired driver is an emergency.
MADD’s other initiative will be placing signs around the community to mark where impaired drivers have been apprehended. There are about 20 red signs that will be posted around Estevan.
“I want these signs out to show the public that impaired drivers are being caught, not just on the main streets, but also right next door to you,” said Hagel.
These are signs that can be moved to other locations. She hopes they can be up soon.
Impaired driving is 100 per cent preventable, she said, and MADD doesn’t use the work “accident” to describe these collisions.
The 300-block of 11th Avenue was blocked off for the event.
Once the speeches were finished, a check stop was held on Fourth Street in front of city hall. Motorists were thanked for not driving while impaired, and presented with gifts.
The next edition of the Mercury will have more on this story.