For people who have lost someone to a drinking and driving crash, there will always be memories of that person surrounding them every single day. Unless you’ve lost someone in a crash too, the reminder to not drink and drive may not be as concrete in your mind as it would be for him or her. That’s why Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada (MADD) has come up with a way to send out a reminder to people to never drink and drive, and it’s sure to make an impact on everyone.
Drinking and driving memorial benches will now be placed in areas around Ontario including Innisfil Beach Park, Heritage Park in Barrie, and Tudhope Park in Orillia. To kick off the memorial bench project, MADD spokespeople revealed a bench during BWG Carrot fest, a street festival in Bradford, Ontario taking place in August. The bench will sit beside the Bradford Courthouse, a location where MADD hopes it makes an impact in a downtown core filled with pubs and nightclubs.
There are more fatalities due to drinking and driving in Ontario than spots for benches. In 2013, 57 people were killed by drinking drivers who made the choice to get behind the wheel, and many more were injured in drinking and driving related crashes. The current penalties for impaired driving in Ontario include license suspensions and ignition interlock installations in any vehicle the offender drives.
The benches will act as personal memorials to those lost by drinking and driving crashes, and were designed to make a huge impact because it doesn’t look like any bench you’ve ever seen. It resembles a headstone – a grey granite reminder for anyone who sees it, and it paints a stark picture for people walking by on how drinking and driving can take a life in a blink of an eye.