The local branch of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has teamed up with the City of Chilliwack and the Upper Fraser Valley RCMP on a new campaign to stop drinking and driving.
MADD has erected 22 large signs beside Chilliwack roads. The signs encourage motorists to report impaired drivers by pulling to the side of the road and dialling 9-1-1.
"Drinking and driving needs to be stopped and needs to be punished," said Josh vanden Eykel, a member of MADD's Upper Fraser Valley board of directors. "This is a good first step to getting the job done."
MADD has paid for the signs, the locations for which were chosen in consultation with the city and Mount-ies.
Insp. Tim Bain said it's important for the public to know that they should report drivers who pose a danger to the public.
"They're behind the wheel, they're swerving, they're driving erratically. We need to get them off the road," Bain said. "It's very good to have the eyes and the ears on the road . . . making their community a safer place."
The signs have been erected all around Chilliwack, both on main thoroughfares and other less well-travelled roads that might be considered safe routes for those hoping to avoid a police roadblock.
"People will try anything," Bain said. "They have to realize that they're putting themselves and everybody else in jeopardy."
He also stressed the importance of eliminating the consumption of any liquor at all-not just not drinking to the point of deep intoxication-prior to driving.
"Don't drink and drive. Period. There are too many other options out there," Bain said.
Vanden Eykel agreed, noting the availability of cabs, friends, and-during holiday season-Operation Red Nose volunteers.
"It shouldn't happen at all," he said. "I don't understand why people do it."