November 28, 2020
A couple who lost a son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren to an impaired driver almost five years ago continues to fight for more awareness and education on the topic, and travels all over to get the message across, is now being officially recognized by MADD Canada.
Lou and Linda Van de Vorst have been recognized with the inaugural Robert M Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy for advocating for stronger impaired driving laws in Saskatchewan.
Lou Van de Vorst says there are four aspects that have to work together to get the numbers down, and they are strict laws, enforcement, education and social responsibility.
He believes the province passing stricter impairment laws in 2016 makes a big difference, allowing breathalyzer tests on the road.
Van de Vorst and his wife believe social responsibility is what people need to think about.
It’s up to us to take care of each other, and that means planning ahead if you are going to go out, so driving is not an option.
He adds that even in the pandemic, he expects there will be some smaller celebrations and urges everyone to not drive impaired, because having a family member die close to a holiday is even more difficult.
From a ten year average, the number of impaired fatalities in Saskatchewan went down by 61 per cent last year, for a total of 21 lives lost.
Lou and Linda’s son Jordan, daughter-in-law Chanda and grandchildren Kamryn and Miguire were hit by impaired driver Catherine McKay almost 5 years ago on January 3rd of 2016.
Robert Solomon, who the award is named after, worked with MADD Canada for 21 years.