Deaths due to impaired driving are on the downturn in Canada. But according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada, the provinces aren’t passing the laws that would save more of the lives lost on Canada’s roads.
A few days ago MADD Canada released its yearly Provincial Impaired Driving Report. It doesn’t make happy reading. The organization rates the provinces’ efforts to fight drunk and drugged driving as follows:
British Columbia C-
Ontario 15 C-
Nova Scotia D
Prince Edward Island D
Newfoundland and Labrador F+
New Brunswick F
The cause of these dismal grades is inadequate legislation. For instance:
- Few provinces have a Graduated Licence Program (GLP) of sufficient length: 1 year for Stage 1, and 3 years for stage 2.
- All provinces should require a 0.0 BAC (blood alcohol concentration) for 3 years following GLP.
- Few provinces suspend the licences of drug-impaired drivers.
- No province bans illicit drugs in its GLP.
- Several provinces have an inadequate ignition interlock program.
There are positive notes:
Alberta was praise for measures such as impoundment of vehicles for drivers with a BAC of .05% or higher and its ignition interlock program.
A number of provinces have introduced legislation to strengthen DUI laws
The good news is that this is was not a final exam. The report should be a call to strengthen legislation and bring all of Canada’s provinces in line with the best international efforts to prevent drunk driving. The country deserves nothing less.