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SGI & MADD team up with the U of R to bring awareness to impaired driving among students

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: September 9, 2021 11:00 a.m.

MADD’s crashed car display has been parked outside The Owl and serves as a stark visual reminder of the consequences of driving impaired.
MADD’s crashed car display has been parked outside The Owl and serves as a stark visual reminder of the consequences of driving impaired. Photo: UAC

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have partnered to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving among post-secondary education students. The campaign launched with a media event today at The Owl. Representatives from the U of R, the University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU), SGI, MADD, and the Regina Police Service (RPS) were on hand to speak to the consequences of impaired driving and the importance of making good decisions around using drugs, alcohol, and vehicles. 

“This isn’t a lecture and it’s not some theoretical classroom exercise,” said Penny McCune, SGI’s Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “Impaired driving is a real problem, with real consequences, and it’s something that disproportionately affects young adults.” 

People aged 18-25 are over represented in impaired driving collisions in Saskatchewan (31%) and with the majority of post-secondary students in Saskatchewan (53%) falling in this age range, it is critically important that U of R students exercise safe and responsible decision making at all times. 

"The health, safety, and well-being of our students is – and always will be – a top priority for the University of Regina," said President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jeff Keshen. "We fully support SGI's and MADD's initiatives to raise awareness about the consequences of driving impaired, and the University will continue to be an advocate for healthy and safe decisions both on our campuses and in the wider community."

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Amy Kaufmann speaks about her personal
experience with losing a family member to
impaired driving. Photo: UAC

Also on hand at today’s event was Amy Kaufmann, who spoke about her personal experience with losing a family member to impaired driving. Amy’s brother Tanner was struck and killed by a 19-year-old impaired driver while pulled over at the side of the road in 2016.

 “This was not an accident that killed Tanner; an impaired driver made the choice to get into a vehicle and drive. That selfish decision put others in danger and it cost my brother his life,” Amy said. “Your vehicle is a weapon and once you make that choice, there’s no going back.”

Today’s event was an important reminder for all in attendance that everyone has a role to play in preventing impaired driving. Making decisions once you’re impaired can be difficult, especially when you’re in a new community or out with new people. SGI suggests that you plan for a safe ride home before you head out to socialize. Arrange for your group to have a designated driver, leave your vehicle at home and make a plan to take a taxi, rideshare, or designated driving service. Download the SGI Safe Ride App to your phone, which can tell you what services are available in your community.