New road signs are encouraging people to report suspected impaired drivers on highways.
Prince Edward Island roadways will soon be adorned by new signs, encouraging motorists to report suspected drunk drivers. It’s the latest initiative to curb high drinking and driving rates on the Island.
The new large, black and yellow reflective signs are being placed in eight high traffic areas.
“These signs are more visible,” said Transportation Minister Robert Vessey. “They stick out more, they’re more eye catching.”
The province has the highest impaired driving rate in Atlantic Canada, and it’s nearly double the national average.
The signs are one of the initiatives drawn up at a recent impaired driving summit in February, where transportation officials, law enforcement and addictions services promised to tackle the problem.
The police say reports from other drivers can make a big difference on the roads.
“When we get these calls, we have motorists who are actually following the impaired driver,” said RCMP Sgt. Andrew Blackadar.
“So we’re getting live updates – real time updates – and it allows us to hone in on the driver very quickly. And for the most part, when the public works with us, and they call us, we can apprehend any impaired driver very quickly.”
New signs reminding Islanders to call 911 to report impaired drivers will help take dangerous drivers off Island roads, says Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey.
“We all have a role to play in keeping our roads safe and getting the message out that there are absolutely no excuses for driving while drunk or impaired by other drugs,” said the minister. “These signs will encourage drivers to call 911 to report suspected impaired drivers and help keep them off our roads.”
The new large, black-and-yellow, reflective signs will be placed along Prince Edward Island roads. The signs will be posted in both English and French.
Producing and installing new highly-visible signs was a recommendation suggested during an impaired driving summit hosted by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal in February. The summit brought together representatives of the RCMP, municipal police forces, MADD Canada and local chapters, Addiction Services, and the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice.
“We are so pleased to see these signs going up at key locations across the Island,” said Russ Stewart of Charlottetown Chapter of MADD. “They will remind the public of the important role they can play in helping police take impaired drivers off the road. We are very thankful to the Minister and his office for their leadership on this project.”
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A summary report of the summit is available online: Impaired Driving Summit Summary
Each recommendation will be reviewed and considered as part of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s commitment to reducing instances of impaired driving on the Island.
“These signs, as well as the legislation our government introduced toughening penalties last fall, will help combat impaired driving. But I recognize there is still much more work to be done,” said the minister. “We must do all we can to make sure everyone knows impaired driving won’t be tolerated.”
10 Possible Signs of an Impaired Driver
1. Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
2. Drifting in and out of lanes
3. Tailgating and changing lanes frequently
4. Making exceptionally wide turns
5. Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
6. Overshooting or stopping well before stop signs or stop lights
7. Disregarding signals and lights
8. Approaching signals or leaving intersections too quickly or slowly
9. Driving without headlights, failing to lower high beams or leaving turn signals on
10. Driving with windows open in cold or inclement weather
• Obey all safety rules.
• Never try to apprehend an impaired driver; let law enforcement do their job.
• Use extreme caution when using a cell phone and driving – pull over to make the call.
• Keep your distance from an impaired driver.