Checkstops hit the road for Festive RIDE impaired driving blitz in Mississauga and Brampton

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Published December 14, 2023 at 11:01 am

President of MADD Canada Toronto Bob Carreau holds a picture of his son Robert killed by a drunk driver in 2020 while standing in front of the Brampton memorial which bears the name on Dec. 14, 2023.

The father of a man killed by an impaired driver has one simple ask of motorists this holiday season – only drive if you’re sober.

The message comes from President of MADD Canada Toronto Bob Carreau, whose son Robert was killed by an impaired driver while out for a run with friends in 2020.

“This didn’t have to happen,” an emotional Bob said while standing in front of the MADD Ontario Memorial Monument which bears the names of 137 impaired driving victims, including his son.

“It wasn’t an accident – the driver made a decision that day,” he said, fighting back tears during his speech. “And that decision took the life of an innocent person, a beautiful man. And rob is just one story.”

He made the plea alongside members of Peel Regional Police on Thursday for the official kick-off of the annual Festive Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (R.I.D.E.) campaign which already has officers out in force on Mississauga and Brampton roads.

PRP Chief Nishan Duraiappah said officers have already stopped approximately 10,000 vehicles, charged 79 drivers and given out dozens of warnings since the program launched on Nov. 12. This year marks the 46th annual Festive R.I.D.E. which will run through to January.

With some 30 people killed in Peel impaired driving-related incidents since 2018 Duraiappah called the deaths “100 per cent preventable,” saying “the cost of impaired driving is far greater than the cost of getting a ride home.”

Last year’s campaign saw 13,987 motorists checked and 126 charges for operation while impaired by alcohol and eight charges for operation while impaired by drugs.

Duraiappah said all drivers have a role to play in helping keep roads safe and urged anyone who witnesses a suspected impaired driver to call 911 when safe to do so. The chief said telling dispatchers the direction of travel, vehicle and driver description or licence plate numbers can help police track possible impaired drivers.

The MADD monument was unveiled at a candlelight vigil in Brampton’s Chinguacousy Park in September. MADD says it will hold annual ceremonies to unveil new names that have been added to the memorial.

Since 2009, MADD Canada has established provincial memorial monuments for victims of impaired driving in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Quebec with efforts underway for similar memorials in Prince Edward Island and B.C.

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