With a festive backdrop, including a lit up Christmas tree and crackling fireplace, the head of SGI took an unconventional approach to deterring people from driving while impaired over the holidays.
In a modification of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic “Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem, SGI President and CEO Andrew Cartmell read his own version:
‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the land,
Many police were patrolling, with breath testers on hand,
Impaired driving is the traffic spotlight for December,
Drivers take heed, and we hope you remember.
Their kids were home with a sitter, tucked in bed tight,
Mom and Dad had the chance to go out for the night,
The party had been festive, Mom drank wine, Dad had beer,
They’d ignored the host’s plea, “You should sleep it off here.”
“Or just call a cab, or a friend who’s not drinking,
They’ll seize your car for three days. What are you thinking?
There’s license suspensions, fines, and jail time,
You’re putting everyone at risk and committing a crime!”
“It’s a short trip, I’ll be fine,” Dad had scoffed,
They hopped in the minivan and then they drove off,
They sped down the road, not a care in the world,
Then from behind a siren blared, as red and blue swirled.
Dad pulled off to the side, with a feeling of dread,
For he knew he’d been caught, and what lay ahead,
The breath test was quick, and the result less than great,
The machine does not lie; Dad exceeded .08.
Dad spoke not a word… but could not mask his shame,
Mom sat there, teeth clenched, cursing his name.
The officer exclaimed, as he looked at the blood alcohol fail,
“Happy Christmas to all… except you, sir. Off to jail.”
SGI and its CEO Andrew Cartmell with an unconventional way of getting the message out not to drink and drive. Here’s a snippet of the end pic.twitter.com/qlB6643gcm
— Kevin Martel (@KevinMartel) November 29, 2017
After he read the altered poem aloud, Cartmell explained SGI wanted to try something fresh this year.
“We are trying to be creative and get the message out there in a different way” he said.
SGI and police will focus on impaired drivers throughout December as part of a traffic safety spotlight initiative.
3 killed and 35 injured in holiday drunk driving crashes last year
Over the 2016 holiday season, three people were killed and another 35 injured in drunk driving crashes in Saskatchewan. Cartmell said alcohol contributed to nearly half of all traffic deaths.
Despite those statistics, he’s focused on progress that’s being made.
“Over the last number of years in Saskatchewan we’ve actually seen a decrease in injuries and fatalities on our roads. The issue we have though, is that other provinces have seen decreases to a greater extent than what we’ve seen,” Cartmell explained.
“We know we can do better.”
New laws have been brought in and penalties stiffened for those caught drinking and driving. Changes revolve around the legal limit a driver can blow, as well as longer licence suspensions and vehicle seizures.
Even with new law surrounding marijuana on its way, Cartmell said it shouldn’t drastically change how drivers approach getting home.
“Whether it’s due to alcohol or drugs, whether they’re legal drugs or illegal drugs, our message is the same–plan a safe ride home. Be safe on the roads. Think of everyone else around you.”