The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has praised the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s decision to reduce impaired driving. The province made a recent announcement to introduce new amendments to the Highway Traffic Act, which will strengthen laws to better combat drink and drug driving.
According to the government, the changes will extend the vehicle impoundment program in the province, allowing police to automatically impound a vehicle of an impaired driver. The idea behind this amendment is to prevent drivers from repeat offending, something that is common for impaired driving offenders.
Other changes include a new mandatory ignition interlock program that will be a requirement for drivers who are seeking a licence reinstatement after being convicted of impaired driving and having their license revoked.
Targeting young drivers, already classed the most dangerous demographic, police will be able to lay an impaired driving charge for any level of blood alcohol. In other words, drivers below 22 years must have a zero reading.
These amendments have been created in collaboration with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and with the support of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“IBC fully supports the government’s proposed changes and we welcome this fantastic announcement,” said Amanda Dean, vice president, Atlantic, with IBC. “Impaired driving takes far too many lives and it’s something that can be easily avoided. Property and casualty insurers are committed to working with governments across Canada to reduce impaired driving and to keep our roads safe for everyone. This is an important step and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is to be commended for this legislation,” she said in a press release on Thursday.
Under the new laws, vehicles can be impounded for three days in a first offence case, while seven days is the punishment for a second offence and 30 days for a third offence.