FRANÇAIS
National Day of Rememberance for Road Crash Victims

Remembering road crash victims

 

Impaired Driving

I’ll be right behind you and I’ll see you at home.” Those were the last words Anthony ‘Tony’ McColl spoke to his sister Alanna on April 16, 2011. He never made it home.

As a sober designated driver that night, Tony had just arrived to pick up his sister and some friends from a party in Pontiac, Quebec. With no room left in his car, Tony gave Alanna cab fare so she could get a ride home ahead of him with the rest of her friends. Along the way, a car speeding in the opposite direction crossed the highway centre line and struck Tony’s car head-on. His four passengers suffered serious injuries, while Tony and the driver of the other car were both killed.

The police had been in pursuit of the speeding vehicle before it crashed. The police suspected that the driver was impaired by alcohol.

Tony, 19, had been studying visual arts at his cégep in Gatineau, Quebec. He was also a musician and avid rugby player. His family and friends will always remember him as a kind and compassionate person who was well rounded, with a promising future.

 

Tony’s Promise

Shortly after receiving the tragic news of the crash, Tony’s friends created a Facebook campaign and his family established a memory fund in his honour called “The Tony’s Promise Fund” to promote programs against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The “Tony’s Promise” Facebook campaign challenges people everywhere to make a simple promise: “I promise to never get behind the wheel or let a friend get behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” The campaign emphasizes to young people and adults that they do have a choice. They can make potentially life-saving decisions when it comes to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
For more information, visit www.tonyspromise.org.

Safety Tips

The decision to drink and drive or not is a personal one. Every driver needs to consider his or her behavior and how to best protect themselves, their family and friends and other road users who depend on them to make a safe decision.
Here are a few ways teenagers - and their parents - can reduce the risks related to impaired driving.


TIPS FOR TEENAGERS

  • Speak up. Talk to your friends about the risks of drinking and driving.
  • Think about the consequences. How would you get around if you couldn't drive? With a graduated license, you could lose your license after just one drink. Think about how you would you feel if you caused a crash, especially if someone were hurt or killed?
  • Offer support to your designated driver to make sure that he or she doesn't drink at all.
  • Be strong. Never get in the car with someone who has been drinking! Instead, call your parents or someone else and ask for a ride. They would rather drive you home in the middle of the night than learn you were hurt or killed in a crash.
  • Be prepared. Bring enough money to pay for a cab if you need one.
  • Celebrate wisely. Promote the "Safe Grad" concept. On graduation night, think about things you could do besides drinking. If you and your friends do drink, make plans before the party to make sure everyone will get home safely.
  • Remember mixing alcohol with other drugs can increase the risks.

TIPS FOR PARENTS

  • Be open. Talk to your teenagers about the dangers of drinking/ doing drugs and driving.
  • Provide a safety net. Tell your teenagers they can call you anytime they need a safe ride home and you'll be there.
  • Provide space for people to sleep over by putting up tents. This works well for parties being held in rural areas.
  • Have a “Key Master”. A responsible adult that collects and holds everyone’s car keys and hands them out to the drivers that have not been drinking.
  • Find out if any parents with vans are available to shuttle people home after the party.
  • Share the facts. Make sure your teens know that riding in a car with a driver who has been drinking is just as dangerous as driving after drinking.
  • Set a good example. If you've been drinking, don't drive.