Impaired driving message is getting out

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Your editorial (“Everyone can help stop drunk driving,” March 2) was a welcome reminder that combating the issue of drug and alcohol-impaired driving requires a team effort. I would like to add some important information.

This government has made it a priority to reduce drug and alcohol-impaired driving on Prince Edward Island, and more severe penalties reflect that. We have enacted legislation to require longer mandatory use of the ignition interlock program, tougher and longer licence suspensions for drug-impaired drivers, more than doubling of the driver licence reinstatement fee, and longer vehicle impoundments for offenders.

Motorists are continuously encouraged to pull over and call 9-1-1 to report an impaired driver. We are also considering a number-letter sequence on our licence plates to identify repeat offenders to law enforcement.

Thanks to legislation, to targeted enforcement by our police partners, and to the actions of alert Islanders who are taking note of impaired drivers, convictions have fallen for three years in a row – from 424 in 2010 to 297 in 2013.

I would maintain that Islanders are getting the message that impaired driving can cost your licence, your vehicle, your freedom, or your life or someone else’s. The fact that we are paying more attention each time a driver is caught for impaired driving only helps to reinforce these messages.

Only by working together can we continue to reduce the instances of impaired driving in our province and make our roadways safer for everyone who uses them.

Robert Vessey,

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Organizations: Islanders

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown

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