Edmonton, you’ve got some explaining to do. After a recent poll by Mainstreet/Postmedia, it was found that twenty percent of Edmontonians would make the decision to drink and drive if they thought it was only for a short distance.
Not only that, but data from the very same poll showed that nine percent of people from Edmonton admitted to driving drunk and sixty one percent admitted that they did it over the past five years.
The Edmonton Journal shared the results of the poll, and they cited an example that puts the drunk driving issue into perspective: four people are killed and 175 are injured every day because someone drove drunk. That means that a population the size of the city of Grand Prairie is killed or injured every year because of drunk driving. Imagine: an entire city wiped out because people think it’s perfectly fine to drink and drive.
Residents of Edmonton aren’t the only people with lax attitudes toward drunk driving. A poll in Saskatchewan showed that one in five people also thought it was safe to drink and drive as long as it was only a short distance.
In response to that and a slew of recent drunk driving crashes in the province, Saskatchewan lawmakers have passed new impaired driving and ignition interlock laws that will crack down on these drivers. Beginning on January 1st, Saskatchewan drivers who think it’s fine to drink and drive will be served with longer ignition interlock programs and vehicle seizures.
If you live in the Edmonton and you’re someone who thinks drunk driving is no big deal, the results of the poll probably won’t bother you. For an anti-drunk driving organization like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), it’s a blow because it shows there’s a lot more work to be done to change attitudes and stop people from making such a dangerous choice.
Maybe it’s time Alberta took a page from Saskatchewan’s drunk driving game plan and made the decision to pass emergency laws to stop people from making the decision to drink and drive. With attitudes like those in Edmonton, it can’t happen a moment too soon.