SGI Launches New Impaired Driving Campaign
If you open your front door to a knock, and a police officer is standing on the other side – you know the news may not be good.
“That knock on the door is something far, too many Saskatchewan people have had to experience,” Minister Responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave said. “It represents the moment a family is torn apart, and it leaves a wound that will never fully heal. Impaired driving takes lives, breaks hearts and shatters families, and it’s why SGI is launching a new awareness campaign – to help save lives and prevent families from experiencing that unnecessary pain.”
There are two components to the campaign. One is a dramatic television spot “Knock on the Door” that shows a young family. Dad is home with three small children. It’s a typical busy day with playtime, supper and getting ready for bed. Mom is out, and she’s been gone longer than expected. Then, a knock on the door. Two police officers on the porch. And suddenly, a family is shattered.
“When the police officer came to our home to tell us Quinn had been killed, words can’t describe how painful that is,” Craig Stevenson said whose 17-year-old son was killed by a drunk driver in August 2013. “It changes your life in a way no one should ever have to experience.”
While “Knock on the Door” is a dramatization, it’s a message that hits home for the first responders and medical professionals who have to deliver next-of-kin notifications to the loved ones of people killed by impaired driving. It’s one of the hardest parts of the job, and no amount of training or experience makes it any less heartbreaking.
That’s why the second component of the campaign features videos of real-life testimonials from Saskatchewan police, firefighters and medical professionals who have seen and dealt with the carnage and resulting anguish caused by impaired driving.
Here are a few excerpted quotes from those testimonials:
“You’re disrupting someone’s life in a way they’ll never forget.” -Sgt. Todd Gall, Regina Police Service
“I remember the mother asking me… looking at my face and saying, ‘He’s dead, isn’t he?’” -Dr. Jagadish (Jag) Rao, trauma surgeon
“It was just another crash. Until I saw the baby seat.” -Mitchell Lapchuck, volunteer firefighter
Impaired driving is still the leading cause of fatalities on Saskatchewan roads. In 2017, 39 people died and 357 were injured in impaired driving collisions. While those numbers represent an improvement over previous years, they are still much too high because impaired driving is completely preventable.
“This campaign is hard-hitting and heartbreaking, and it’s necessary,” Hargrave said. “We need to make better decisions – to never drive impaired and plan a safe ride home every time, to prevent these senseless tragedies. We are grateful to the first responders who shared their stories in this ad, and to the families who continue to support our efforts against impaired driving.”
The province-wide campaign includes television, radio, theatre and online advertisements. It runs until the end of October. You can see the television ads and hear first-person accounts from first responders at www.sgi.sk.ca/knock.