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Chillliwack motorists urged to report an impaired driver

Inspector Tim Bain speaks during the unveiling of one of 22 new signs in Chilliwack Proper on Yale Road West near the Evans Road overpass on Wednesday morning. The new road safety initiative from the City of Chilliwack, MADD Canada and the RCMP encourages drivers to identify and report impaired drivers. “If someone sees something on the road that requires police attention, like a vehicle crossing over the line, pull over and call 9-1-1,” says Bain.  - JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS
Inspector Tim Bain speaks during the unveiling of one of 22 new signs in Chilliwack Proper on Yale Road West near the Evans Road overpass on Wednesday morning. The new road safety initiative from the City of Chilliwack, MADD Canada and the RCMP encourages drivers to identify and report impaired drivers. “If someone sees something on the road that requires police attention, like a vehicle crossing over the line, pull over and call 9-1-1,” says Bain.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

A successful road safety campaign that enlists the help of the public to identify impaired drivers is coming to Chilliwack.

For many motorists, the sight of a possible impaired driver swerving around the roads can leave a helpless feeling.

You may want to try and stop them, but you're not sure if it's an emergency worthy of a 911 call.

A new campaign launched in Chilliwack is hoping to change that mindset in motorists.  Report Impaired Drivers, or RID, is a program to remind the public it's OK to report an impaired driver to 911.  Twenty-two signs in total will be installed within the community.

“RID 911 gives citizens an important way to help police take impaired drivers off our roads, and sends the message to impaired drivers that other motorists are watching and will report them to police,” Josh vanden Eykel, MADD UFV Chapter – Board of Director.

Programs encouraging the public to call 911 to report suspected impaired drivers have been successful in communities across British Columbia.

Comprehensive RID 911 programs with appropriate signage in good locations, along with education and awareness about the programs, increase calls to report impaired driving and increased charges resulting from 911 calls.

“Chilliwack is proud to bring this important program to our city,” said Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “With every impaired driver stopped, you are potentially saving a life or preventing an injury.”  “Everyone has a role to play in keeping our roads and communities safe.”

Campaign 911 has grown extensively over the past few years. In communities across the country, MADD Canada Chapters and Community Leaders work with local and regional police, government and community organizations to deliver the Campaign 911 message. Signs, billboards, public service announcements and other materials inform the public about the possible signs of an impaired driver, tips on what to do and road safety reminders.

“Impaired driving continues to be a serious threat to public safety,” said Inspector Tim Bain “The RCMP is pleased to be part of this initiative and we welcome the public’s assistance in alerting officers to suspected impaired drivers.”

Impaired driving claims between 1,250 and 1,500 lives each year. Another 63,000 people are injured in impairment-related crashes.  This is 100% preventable.

For more information on Campaign 911, including signs of a potential impaired driver, visit www.madd.ca.

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