MADD Fredericton Shares the Visual Consequences of Impaired Driving

The Fredericton Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has partnered with their local police department to bring attention to impaired driving through a very eye-catching campaign.

The damaged car awareness campaign illustrates one of the potential consequences of impaired driving, with a damaged vehicle placed outside for passing motorists to see.

Sandra Clements knows all too well the importance of sharing this kind of message.

She lost her 23-year-old son to a drunk driver almost 10 years ago.

“Drunk and impaired driving needs to stop,” said Clements, who is also a member of MADD Fredericton Chapter. “It doesn’t get any easier, your heart doesn’t heal, you will always have a void. I still cry daily.”

Clements hopes campaigns like this will help people avoid a devastating police visit, similar to the one she received a decade ago.

“We know better, we should do better,” said Deputy Chief Martin Gaudet of the Fredericton Police Force.

“I hope that kind of campaign, when people drive by and see it, it reminds them, if you drink, don’t drive, have a plan. It’s not when you’re three sheets to the wind that you start planning how I’m going to get home,” Gaudet said.

Clements’ son Kevin passed away on July 15, 2012, making this time of year difficult for her and her family.

“We have our days, we have our moments, and we have our…I call them ‘three-minute pity parties,'” Clements said.

“Because we have our breakdowns. There’s going to be something said, or an image popped up, just something that’s going to set off this whole emotional rollercoaster.”

The timing and location of the Crash Awareness campaign is strategic, at the corner of Prospect and York Streets, near Fredericton High School.

The hope is to remind graduates to make the right decision in their celebrations this year and to return home soberly.

“It’s a pretty major intersection. It’s near high school. High school is going to be graduating here soon,” Gaudet said. “It’s not just about high school students, but the whole community.”

Over the next few weeks, the Crash Awareness campaign will also be displayed in northern Fredericton and Oromocto, New Brunswick, in hopes of spreading the message even further.

Briana R. Cross