Today, the B.C. government, police and ICBC marked the 40th anniversary of CounterAttack.
Since CounterAttack began in 1977, alcohol-related fatalities have decreased from over 300 per year to an average of 65 related deaths*. Yet the sobering truth is that impaired driving still remains a top contributing factor for fatal crashes in B.C.
This holiday season, if you plan to drink, leave your car at home. There's no excuse to drink and drive and there is always at least one smart alternate option—like arranging a designated driver, calling a taxi, taking transit or using Operation Red Nose where available. ICBC's special event permit kit is also available to order for free on icbc.com for party hosts planning to serve alcohol, encouraging guests to not drink and drive.
Police will be stepping up impaired driving enforcement at CounterAttack roadchecks throughout B.C beginning tonight.
ICBC supports two impaired driving education campaigns every year and funds CounterAttack enhanced police enforcement.
The 40 year milestone of CounterAttack will also be recognized in local newspapers this month to mark the progress made to reduce the number of victims impacted by impaired driving.
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General:
"Over two generations, CounterAttack and related educational activities have helped to change attitudes and behaviours, saving hundreds of lives on our roads. Still, enhanced enforcement during the holiday season remains vital. There is simply no excuse for drinking and driving, and those who do so should expect to lose their driving privileges, their vehicle, and face other severe consequences."
Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee
"CounterAttack, along with tough penalties and education has impacted positively on driver behaviour. But the fact remains that people are still dying on B.C. roads because of impaired driving – either drugs or alcohol. One life is too many and the police will be out in force this holiday season to protect everyone using our roadways. We once again remind B.C. drivers: there is no excuse to drink and drive."
Lindsay Matthews, ICBC's director responsible for road safety
"Today, impaired driving is still one of the top three contributing factors for fatal crashes in B.C. These crashes are significant contributors to cost pressures on B.C. insurance rates. The fact is, impaired driving crashes are completely preventable. So if you plan to drink, leave your car at home or find an alternate way to get home safe."
- On average, 16 people are killed in impaired driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland every year.
- On average, nine people are killed in impaired driving-related crashes on Vancouver Island every year.
- On average, 22 people are killed in impaired driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior every year.
- On average, 20 people are killed in impaired driving-related crashes in North Central B.C. every year.
*Fatal victim counts from police data based on five year average from 2012 to 2016. Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.