There are a lot of things Canada can be proud of: a consistent showing in major league hockey, some pretty good coffee and doughnuts, and landscapes from coast to coast that have to be seen to be believed. There are also a few things that Canada needs to work on, and that includes the number of impaired driving deaths happening across the country every year.
There are so many alcohol-related crashes that Canada has come in at the top of the heap for impaired driving deaths. It’s currently ranked number one out of nineteen wealthy countries in a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and that rank is making lawmakers stand up and take notice.
According to Andrew Murie, CEO of MADD Canada, that ranking should be seen as a wake up call for lawmakers. Although the study found that there were fewer people who were dying in crashes in Canada, the number of deaths was 34 per cent per 100,000, That’s the highest out of all the countries.
Murie thinks Canada needs to do more to stop impaired driving deaths, but with people already balking at tough impaired driving laws being brought into most provinces, what can the country do to improve?
Here’s a suggestion lawmakers in Canada may want to consider: how about toughening up on ignition interlock compliance? Everyone knows that ignition interlocks prevent drunk drivers from driving their vehicles, and most provinces already require ignition interlocks for first time offenses. The problem is that some people who are ordered to install one just don’t bother, and the penalties only kick in for noncompliance if you’re a.) stopped by police, and b.) are in a province like Ontario that makes it really unappealing to drive without your court ordered ignition interlock.
If everyone charged with a drunk driving offense was required to install an ignition interlock and all provinces followed up with stiff penalties if they don’t comply, Canada may be able to cut down on the number of impaired driving deaths. With a number one ranking in impaired driving deaths, it’s worth a shot.