Mock accidents are great and all, but tougher fines for drinking and driving would be even greater.
There is no doubt the Corner Brook Fire Department had the best of intentions when they staged a mock accident recently to demonstrate to students the effects of drinking and driving.
But unfortunately the fire department has no control over drinking and driving, all they can do is clean up the aftermath.
Some of the power lies with the police but it’s the lawmakers that really have the control, all the police can do is enforce what the lawmakers create.
Students have been subjected to drinking and driving laws for more than two decades.
They’ve seen all the TV ads, skits and mock accidents, and heard all the heartfelt pleas from families and speeches to last them a lifetime. They’ve worn the goggles at MADD exhibits and have even seen the inside of a jail cell, with the warning that if you drink and drive, “You’ll end up here.”
As drinking and driving is still occurring, the only conclusion we can draw as a society is that all of this is not working, which brings us back to the lawmakers.
Police will tell you that for a first offence, whether student or adult, the punishment needs to be great, so they don’t offend again.
If we want to stop drinking and driving, we need even tougher laws.
Instead of a three-day suspension, why not a one-year suspension? First conviction should mean a life-long ban from ever being able to get behind the wheel.
It’s true that we are more serious about drinking and driving now than we ever were. But it’s obviously not getting through to some.
It’s time for a scorched-earth policy. Mock accidents look pretty serious, and can have an effect on people’s attitudes.
But real accidents leave far deeper impressions.