MONTREAL, Thursday, June 7, 2012 – Formula 1 drivers Mark Webber of Red Bull Racing and Pastor Maldonado of Williams-Renault demonstrated today the physical and mental limitations of driving under the influence.
Impaired driving: would you pass the test?, held at Parc Jean-Drapeau, was organized by the Canadian Automobile Association, CAA, CAA-Québec along with the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). For this event, the drivers also agreed to submit to tests evaluating their faculties, conducted by three experienced police officers of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM).
According to the most recent Canadian statistics, 39 % of drivers implicated in fatal car crashes in 2008 had consumed alcohol . As far as drug use is concerned, the SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec) has demonstrated that marijuana use increases two-fold the risk of being involved in a deadly crash . Both are reasons why CAA and FIA have chosen to remind Canadians today that driving under the influence puts all road users, including you, in jeopardy.
The event, featuring Australian Mark Webber, winner of the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco, and Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado – winner of the 2012 Grand Prix of Spain, is part of Canada’s contribution to a worldwide effort to reduce by half the number of road fatalities by the year 2020. The drivers are taking part in these preventive efforts in conjunction with the FIA’s Road Safety campaign, affiliated with the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety. The objective is to save five million lives throughout the world.
« CAA is very proud to partner with the FIA to promote road safety during the Formula 1 racing event, a huge happening in the automotive world, » commented Mr. Pierre Cyr, Chair of CAA National.
« Many people still believe they can drink and drive because they think they have a high tolerance level to alcohol. Others think there are ways to avoid being caught red-handed or that they cannot be arrested because their blood alcohol level is below 0.08mg/100ml of blood », said Mr. Yvon Lapointe, Director of Road Safety Education for CAA-Quebec. « All those assumptions are wrong, and today’s event demonstrates clearly that even the best drivers in the world have a hard time when they get behind the wheel while under the influence », he concluded.
Throughout the weekend, CAA-Quebec will also greet visitors on the Grand Prix of Canada site to allow them to try out the simulators specially programmed for this event, demonstrating the clear dangers of driving while under the influence… but in total safety!
CAA-Quebec, a non-profit organization established in 1904, provides automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges to its 1.1 million members. It is also very active in the area of road safety.
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is a federation of nine clubs providing more than 5.6 million members with emergency roadside service, travel and insurance services, along with a rewards program. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.
For more information or to obtain a photo of the event, please get in touch with:
Public Relations Officer, CAA-Québec
514-861-7111, ext. 3210
CAA, Director of Public Affairs