From The Hip: Make it home alive this holiday season
for Smoky River Express
As we prepare for yet another holiday season we’re once again reminded by our law enforcement officals at the McLennan RCMP detachment about the dangers impaired driving.
It’s a serious message which law enforcement officers from McLennan are reinforcing over the course of the next several weeks as they work collectively to keep impaired motorists off our rural roads and highways.
The beginning of December marked the official launch of the RCMP holiday checkstop blitz with Mounties from all three respective communities announcing a significantly heightened level of enforcement. Their message is crystal clear: drinking and driving is something that won’t be tolerated!
So, are people really getting the message about the dangers of drinking and driving? Well, here's some food for thought. There were 2,767 people killed and 194,177 people injured in road crashes in Canada during 2007. Out of that total, 19 per cent of the deaths or 525 Canadians were killed as a direct result of impaired driving.
Coinciding with impaired driving, it's great to see automotive manufacturers taking a proactive approach to the issue of impaired driving by introducing alcohol-detection sensors in their concept vehicles as an effective deterrent. Odour sensors on the driver and passenger seats and a camera that monitors alertness through eye scans and a gearshift that measures perspiration on the driver’s palm may all soon become part of the new norm for this generation of drivers.
It’s one battle against the war on impaired driving which is showing signs of success. Still, most safety advocates admit the war is far from over.
Our police officers, who work in conjunction with fire and ambulance personnel, are all too familiar with the carnage left behind by the idiots who selfishly choose to ignore the obvious signs that drinking and driving kills. They’ve witnessed firsthand the tragic aftermath of these random and senseless acts of driver-induced vehicular negligence which continue to take the lives of countless numbers of innocent people.
And let's face it, one more injury or the loss of one more innocent life will always be one too many!
I want to extend a personal apology to two important individuals whom I both admire and respect for a recent McLennan town council story I wrote last month regarding cleanliness concerns at the arena.
The article (which made reference to public works foreman Rene Maure and arena caretaker Donald Roberts) was written based on a letter of complaint to the town and subsequent comments at the meeting from at least one councillor and hit a nerve with both individuals.
Donald recently gave me an earful, and rightly so, for not getting both sides of the story.
According to him, the dressing room and washroom in question for "a lack of cleanliness" was in the process of undergoing reno's at the time and was mistakenly opened for use to the public – an honest mistake. This also occurred during the first week of operations in October and fell in conjunction with a difficult cleanup effort of the enitre arena following construction of the new banquet hall.
Anyone who knows Donald, including myself, knows that he has and continues to take tremendous pride in the upkeep and maintenance of the arena by ensuring that it's in tip-top shape for public use each day. Needless to say, it wasn't fair to inadvertently bring the work ethics of both of these dedicated individuals into question by mentioning their names in the article. Both should be commended on a job well done during very difficult circumstances and tight deadlines.
And for that I apologize as Editor of this newspaper.