MADD kick off 2024 Smashed Car Campaign

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald. The MADD Smashed Car Campaign kicked off on Thursday afternoon.

Drivers will notice two new symbols that aim to raise awareness about impaired driving just a short drive north of city limits.

The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are displaying two smashed vehicles to spread the word about the impacts of impaired driving. It is the third year in a row that MADD Prince Albert has done the campaign.

Karen Anthony-Burns is a director with MADD Prince Albert chapter. She spoke to the media on Thursday morning at the opening ceremony for the 2024 campaign. The Smashed Vehicle campaign is done in partnership with SGI, the Prince Albert Police Service, the city of Prince Albert and Sask. Highways.

She says the locations of the two vehicles were chosen because of the amount of traffic that will pass by.

“This year we’re on Highway 2 North and Highway 55 East. Just in those two locations, we really will impact a lot of people traveling to the lakes and stuff. When we say don’t drive impaired, whether it’s a boat, whether it’s you’re off-roading, whether you’re driving a snowmobile in the winter. That’s impaired driving. So any motorized vehicle, please do not drive impaired.”

In Prince Albert in 2023, there were 41 locations where Police pulled over and criminally charged impaired drivers.

Saskatchewan RCMP charged more than 1700 individuals with impaired driving in 2023, that is an average of more than five per day. In 2022, 693 alcohol related collisions were reported in Saskatchewan according to SGI.

According to MADD Canada’s website, nine federal criminal charges and provincial short term license suspensions are laid for alcohol or drug-impaired driving.

Anthony-Burns says the most important thing when going for a night out is having a safe way to get home.

“There certainly is much more of an awareness of not getting behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking and making sure that you have that designated driver or calling someone. With grad season coming, we’re encouraging parents, aunts, uncles, whoever that is you can trust to be a designated driver. You can always make that plan before you go out. Once you have the drinks or whatever else you’re consuming, it might be too late to make a responsible decision and that could impact you for the rest of your life.”