ONTARIO, November 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – In early 2022, TIRF partnered with Diageo North America to establish the Impaired Driving Coalition of Canada (IDCC) and develop a National Action Plan aimed at preventing impaired driving. The IDCC combines the knowledge and expertise of diverse member organizations and innovative educational resources to guide the development of the national action plan containing prevention priorities. A critical objective for the IDCC is to increase public awareness and help drivers recognize the risks associated with driving after drinking.
Cross-sector partners joining forces with TIRF and Diageo on the IDCC include Desjardins, Safer Roads Alliance, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), Toronto Police Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, North Bay Police Service, Victoria Police Department (VicPD), Manitoba Public Insurance, Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), Windsor Regional Hospital, Ford Canada, Private Motor Truck Council, Canadian Wireless & Telecommunications Association, Spirits Canada, Canada Safety Council, Beer Canada, arrive alive DRIVE SOBER, Alcohol Countermeasures Systems, CARSP Young Professionals’ Committee, and the Ontario Injury Prevention Practitioners Network as well as TIRF’s Lead Youth Advisor.
“During the past two decades, the number of Canadians killed in road crashes involving a drinking driver has generally declined,” shares Robyn Robertson, TIRF President & CEO. “However, in 2019 there were still 470 people killed in a crash where at least one driver was drinking. This represents one in four road deaths, and self-report data from 2021 suggests numbers are trending in the wrong direction.”
Although, the percentage of drivers who self-reported driving within two hours of drinking has decreased since 2009, in the past three years the percentage of drivers admitting to drinking any amount of alcohol before driving has increased. More concerning, the percentage of drivers who self-reported driving when they thought they were over the legal limit in the past 12 months has increased since 2018, with almost one in 10 drivers (9.7%) reported doing this in 2021.
“The IDCC’s National Action Plan is designed to help people understand risks based on the latest data and risk research and to customize messaging for different audiences and ages. A main objective is to increase awareness using IDCC tools, to leverage resources from partners, and to empower people to speak up about safe choices,” shares Robertson. “Additionally, the IDCC will explore opportunities to strengthen and share data as well as explore the benefits of new technologies.”
Some of the top priorities contained in the IDCC National Action include:
- Working with select hospitals, trauma centres and police services to demonstrate how communities can create a more current picture of impaired driving using local data sources.
- Developing customized & targeted educational messaging about risks for specific audiences.
- Creating tools to help communities establish Fatal Collision Review Committees to increase public awareness about the local impaired driving problem and inform prevention strategies.
- Exploring implementation issues, benefits and limitations associated with impaired driving technologies.
Tools to support education efforts are in development with an anticipated release scheduled for early 2023. These include steps communities can take to establish a Fatal Collision Review Committee (FCRC) to improve understanding of all fatal crashes in their communities. The FCRC should be comprised of a variety of key partners in the community including the Coroner’s Office, local police services, traffic engineers and representatives from the local public health units. The goal of the FCRC is to make concrete recommendations from an education, enforcement and engineering perspective to prevent fatal crashes from occurring.
“We are proud to collaborate with these organizations and contribute tools and resources to the coalition’s National Action Plan to help tackle impaired driving in Canada,” Ana Fitzgibbons, Director, Diageo in Society. “Helping people understand the risks of drinking and driving through education and awareness is a priority for us.”
Diageo will complement other existing resources in the IDCC National Action Plan through its learning experience ‘Wrong Side of the Road’ and educational resource www.DRINKiQ.com.
Additional educational tools which will be leveraged include TIRF’s Sober Smart Driving website as well as resources from SGI, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, VicPD and CAA.
The IDCC National Action Plan is available for download through TIRF’s project page on this initiative: https://tirf.ca/projects/idcc.
IDCC member quotes:
Pat Cliche, Chair, Ontario Injury Prevention Practitioners Network: “In collaboration with expert members from across Canada, we anticipate the development of a comprehensive National Action Plan addresses the preventable issue of impaired driving. Working together these inclusive and data-driven strategies will be implemented to create awareness and education to address the risks and consequences of impaired driving. Through the active participation of OIPPN at a provincial and local level, meaningful change can be made to transform this dangerous behaviour on our roads.”
Acting Superintendent Matt Moyer, Toronto Police Service, Traffic Services: “The Toronto Police Service has partnered with several external partnerships, including the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), Arrive Alive Drive Sober and GTA Police Services in an attempt to address the serious crime of impaired driving. There should be no tolerance for impaired driving on our roads. There is no excuse for impaired driving when we can utilize ride-sharing apps, taxi services and local transit as safer alternatives. The Toronto Police Service will continue to foster these relationships and proactively deter and prevent impaired driving.”
Kristine D’Arbelles, Senior Director of Public Affairs, Canadian Automobile Association: “CAA has worked for decades to raise awareness about the dangers of driving impaired,” said Kristine D’Arbelles, senior director of public affairs, CAA National. “This action plan is a positive step towards finding solutions to help keep our roads safer.”
 Data from 2019, the most recent year for which data are available, TIRF’s National Fatality Database
 Source: TIRF, Road Safety Monitor 2021: Drinking & Driving in Canada, December 2021.
The vision of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is to ensure people using roads make it home safely every day by eliminating road deaths, serious injuries and their social costs. TIRF’s mission is to be the knowledge source for safe road users and a world leader in research, program and policy development, evaluation, and knowledge transfer. TIRF is a registered charity and depends on grants, awards, and donations to provide services for the public. Visit www.tirf.ca.
LinkedIn: Traffic Injury Research Foundation
Twitter: @TIRFCANADA & @DropItAndDrive
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About Diageo North America
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Casamigos, DeLeon and Don Julio tequilas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE: DGE) and their products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.
For more information about Diageo, their people, brands, and performance, visit www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice. Follow at Twitter and Instagram for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.
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For more information, please contact:
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