Seems like some government officials of Ontario have caused a bit of a fuss with the new zero tolerance policy toward drinking and driving that they introduced on August1, 2010.
Under the new rules, drivers age 21 and under must have zero blood alcohol levels while behind the wheel.
The new rules also contain a system of escalating sanctions for novice drivers who repeatedly violate traffic rules.
Novice (new) drivers who accumulate four or more demerit points will be given a 30-day suspension for their first conviction. A second fine will bring a 90-day suspension and the novice licence could be cancelled.
However, starting on August 3 eligible drivers convicted of an impaired driving offense would be able to reduce their licence suspension if they agree to have an ignition interlocking device installed in their vehicle (at their expense). This device stops a car from starting if the driver has any alcohol in his/her system.
Apparently, a number of people in Ontario don’t like the new rules and say that they interfere with their rights.
People need to realize that Canadians don’t have a right to drive a vehicle. We have a privilege to drive a vehicle, which is a great thing to have. However, if you abuse that privilege it can, and should, be taken away from you.
Governments all across Canada need to drive home the point to all drivers and especially to young drivers that drinking and driving just doesn’t mix.
From 2003 to 2005 more than 750 vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists were killed annually in Canada. Some traffic organizations estimate the number of victims is considerably higher as it’s unknown in certain cases whether the driver was drinking.
Whatever the actual numbers are, we can all agree that alcohol use by drivers cause many unnecessary deaths and injuries.
According to statistics, young drivers up to age 24 contribute significantly to the impaired driving problem in Canada.
It is estimated that collisions in Canada cost Canadians $62.7 billion a year. These include direct costs such as hospital care, other medical care, emergency response, property damage and insurance administration.
Then too there’s a great indirect cost to vehicle accidents such as partial and total disability of victims, activity and workdays lost to say nothing of the pain and suffering of victims and their families.
A question we might want to ask is why can’t the rule toward zero blood alcohol levels apply to all Canadian drivers regardless of age or where they live?
It would certainly save a lot of lives each year. We all know it’s wrong to drink and drive, but many Canadians do it every day.
And what about that ignition-interlocking device that won’t allow a vehicle to start if the driver has consumed alcohol?
Shouldn’t that device be installed in every car sold in Canada and around the world? If my car didn’t start because I had a few too many drinks I’d have to get a friend to drive me home or get a taxi.
Either way, I might just save someone else’s life or my own.