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York police, MADD kick off 2011 holiday R.I.D.E. program

York Regional Police and Mothers Against Drunk Driving kicked off their 2011 holiday R.I.D.E program Monday, targeting impaired drivers across the region.

Breakfast Television’s Kevin Frankish hosted the launch ceremony – held at Aurora’s St. Maximilian Kolbe high school.  Speakers from York Regional Police, MADD, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, York Catholic school board, and student representatives from the school all spoke at the event.

“Impaired driving is no accident. It is a senseless, selfish and completely preventable criminal act,” deputy Bruce Herridge told CityNews.

He says that impaired driving is one of the top killers in Canada — and it needs to be eliminated.

York’s 2011 R.I.D.E program has been dedicated to Jessica Seymour, a 23-year-old survivor of impaired driving who lost her leg after being struck by a drunk driver in 2005.

“One day I’m running down a soccer field and the next I’m lying in a hospital bed learning my left leg is gone forever,” said Seymour.

“But I am very fortunate, I survived.”

In 2007, York police rolled out their Safe Roads…Your Call program, asking resident to report suspected impaired drivers. Since launch, close to 10,000 calls have come in to police resulting in nearly 1,400 arrests, York police say.

During the 2010 Festive Season, 87 drivers were arrested for being impaired by alcohol and five drivers were arrested for being impaired by drugs.

This year, four people have been killed in collisions involving alcohol on York roads. There have been 886 impaired-by-alcohol charges and 44 impaired by drugs.

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