Pubdate: Sat, 25 Nov 2017
Source: Sudbury Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Osprey Media
Author: Keith Dempsey
Page: A3


Red Ribbon Campaign gets started, with emphasis on drivers who use

Action Sudbury has kicked off its 29th annual Red Ribbon Campaign with
an emphasis on educating the public about the use of cannabis, as the
federal government is set to legalize recreational marijuana.

"The biggest thing for the youth is to ensure they're aware of how
cannabis can possibly effect their ability to operate a motor
vehicle," OPP Sergeant Dave Wallbank said.

Wallbank showed a presentation of drug evaluation and classification
to those in attendance, including students from Confederation
Secondary School and Marymount Academy.

"There's a lot of misconceptions out in society right now about
cannabis. Some people actually think it improves their ability to
operate a motor vehicle and that's not the case. There are lots of
studies out there that indicate operating vehicles is multitasking and
cannabis impacts your cognitive function. As a result it affects your
ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

"This is the up-and-coming generation, the ones who are moving into
the workforce. You have to start at the beginning and make sure
they're getting the correct message."

The Red Ribbon Campaign is in effect throughout December. The idea of
the red ribbon is to commit to not drink and drive and not driving
impaired. It also serves as a reminder of those injured or killed by
impaired drivers.

Action Sudbury is a non-profit community organization comprised of
individuals and agencies with a common goal to eliminate tragedies
caused by impaired drivers in the Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas.

Ron Roy, chairman of Action Sudbury, said as a group, its members are
hoping technology and education will help solve the issue of impaired

"When Action Sudbury started in 1984, 54 per cent of the fatal car
accidents in Ontario was caused by impaired drivers," Roy said. "Now
we're down to 19 or 20 per cent. A lot of it has to do with car
technology, the airbags and seatbelts, but still, 54 per cent to 19
and 20 per cent, that's a big drop. It's encouraging."

During Friday's press conference at the Travelodge, the annual
Rollande Mousseau Award was given to the Hancock family. DJ Hancock, a
younger hockey player returning from tryouts, was killed by an
impaired driver in 2014.

Information was provided about the Greater Sudbury Police Service,
which has 26 officers trained in standard field sobriety testing, four
of whom are drug recognition evaluators. They are continuing to train
to include more officers with the ability to test for drivers impaired
by drugs.

In 2017, standard field sobriety testing officers have conducted 40
in-field evaluations on drivers suspected of being impaired by drugs
or alcohol.

Enforcement statistics for the December RIDE program for 2016 show
that 3,708 vehicles were checked, there were 34 approved screening
device tests, seven standard field sobriety tests, seven three-day
driver's license suspensions, seven seven-day driver's license
suspensions and seven impaired drivers.
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