MADD campaign brings awareness to impaired driving

Impaired driver sign, located at the roundabout between Brunswick Street and Smythe Street. (Daniel Salas/AQ)

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) signs are scattered across the curbsides, parking lots and roads of Fredericton to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.

MADD teamed up with the Fredericton Police Force this month for the “Impaired Driver Caught Here” campaign. Signs were placed at 15 locations across the city where police arrested drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“When you drive to work or walk in your community and see those impaired drivers caught here and fines along the road, hopefully they remind people to make the right choice and drive sober,” said Sonya Gilks, public information officer for the Fredericton Police Force.

Gilks said that MADD took inspiration from a similar campaign that took place in Western parts of Canada and decided that it would be beneficial to run the campaign locally.

So far this year, the Fredericton Police Force charged 124 impaired drivers over the age of 18, which is higher than previous years. Gilks does not know why this is.

The Aquinian tried contacting the MADD chapter of greater Fredericton, but they did not reply by the time of publication.

Gilks said a combination of cannabis and alcohol quickly impairs a person’s ability to drive.

“Because of this influx of residents in the city, the streets are busier and the city is more populated so safe driving is our top priority,” said Gilks.

Gilks said the timing of the campaign is important as students return to school and Halloween fast approaches, so the signs were placed a few weeks ago.

She said if students choose to drink or consume drugs, they should find another way home. Gilks suggests taking a bus or taxi or calling a friend or family member.

“Just because you have had a small amount of each does not mean that you are safe to drive or under the legal limit,” said Gilks.