For years the public has been inundated with messages warning about the dangers of drinking and driving. In spite of these efforts, people continue to drive after they have been drinking, often with tragic results. This has been a frustration to police agencies and the public. Throughout the years the Edmonton Police Service has experimented with similar programs, including Operation Lookout; however, none have had the success of Curb the Danger.
The program is simple. If a citizen spots someone they suspect is driving while impaired they call 9-1-1 and report the last direction of travel of the suspect vehicle, make of vehicle and a license plate. Annually, between 38% and 45% of vehicle intercepts result in an impaired driving charge or 24-hour license suspension. The unique component to the program is that if police are unable to intercept the suspect vehicle, and if there is a license plate and driving pattern given, the registered owner of the vehicle is sent a letter. In that letter the owner is informed that their vehicle was reported to Curb the Danger by a concerned citizen.
The distracted driving legislation in Alberta provides an exemption to allow the use of a hand held cellular device to report an emergency which includes a possible impaired driver reported to 9-1-1.
The Curb the Danger program has caught on with more than Edmontonians; the publicity it has generated has caught the attention of Police agencies in Canada and around the world.
|Curb the Danger Statistics for 2013
|Impaired Driving Arrests
|24 - Hour Suspensions
|Letters sent to Registered Owners
|Calls from the Public
Sadly as long as there are people who choose to drink and drive, there will be a need for the Curb the Danger program. Those who have the propensity to drink and drive should realize that in addition to the Police, the citizens of Edmonton are on the lookout for impaired drivers.