New MADD truck campaign to remind drivers not to drink and drive
June 21, 2012
Drivers on roads in Western Canada and northern Canada will soon see a stark reminder of the consequences of drinking and driving.
A photo of Michael Knox, a 16-year-old boy who died after being hit by a drunk driver when he was the designated driver for friends, will be posted on RTL-Westcan transport trucks to remind drivers not to drink and drive.
The initiative was announced Thursday at Westcan’s Edmonton headquarters by MADD Canada national president Denise Duybk, Westcan CEO Tom Kenny and Alberta Minister of Transportation Ric McIver.
The trucks feature Michael’s photo, name, age and a message to drivers to call 911 if they see someone impaired on the road.
“Calling 911 to report impaired drivers is having a profound affect on apprehending impaired drivers before they could cause a crash that could kill or injure someone,” said Dubyk.
Michael’s mother Louise Twerdy was also in attendance for the unveiling, and spoke about her son’s kindness and generosity. He often drove his siblings to school, and was the designated driver for a group of friends who had been drinking when a drunk driver crossed into his lane and killed him in October 1999 near St. Paul.
“Michael did the right thing. He was the designated driver, he was coming home early, he was wearing his seatbelt, he was going under the speed limit,” Louise said.
“We weren’t able to make plans for his graduation. Instead, I had to pick out funeral homes. Instead of helping him pick out what he would be wearing to grad, I had to pick out what he would be buried in.”
McIver applaud Westcan and MADD’s partnership and spoke about the province’s plan to introduce harsher penalties for drunk drivers starting July 1.
“You think that it can’t happen to you in Alberta? Folks, almost twice a week it does,” he said.