Transportation Minister Robert Vessey receives MADD Canada’s Citizen of Distinction award from MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk (left) and Gregg Thomson (right), MADD Canada national board chairman. contributed
CHARLOTTETOWN – Transportation Minister Robert Vessey’s work on last winter’s Impaired Driving Summit and resulting legislation has earned him national recognition by MADD Canada.
“(Vessey’s) efforts were directly responsible for a highly productive stakeholder summit on impaired driving that resulted in policies and strategies aimed at reducing impaired driving throughout the province,” said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada chose Vessey to receive its Citizen of Distinction award, presented annually to an individual, group, or organization that has contributed significantly to the anti-drinking and driving movement in Canada. He received the award Sept. 27 at MADD Canada’s National Leadership Conference in Toronto.
“MADD Canada is very thankful for Minister Vessey’s commitment to reducing impaired driving and improving road safety in Prince Edward Island,” said Murie.
Held February in Charlottetown, the Impaired Driving Summit brought Vessey and Justice Minister Janice Sherry and their staff together with law enforcement, MADD Canada and its regional representatives, the Crown Prosecutor’s Office, and an ad-hoc committee on impaired driving.
The meeting played a role in legislation requiring an ignition interlock device be installed on the vehicles of first-time impaired-driving offenders for one year, and increasing its mandatory use to three years for second-time offenders and five years for third-time offenders, among other initiatives.
“It is gratifying that we have been recognized by MADD Canada for the steps we have taken to make our highways safer by combating impaired driving,” Vessey said. “If anyone hasn’t heard that impaired driving is unacceptable on Prince Edward Island, hopefully we are making that message perfectly clear.”