VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s another distressing reminder of the impacts of driving while impaired.
The prompt comes from the story of a woman driving a mangled vehicle, with an eight-year-old passenger inside.
According to Vancouver Police Patrol Sergeant Sandra Glendinning, who took to Twitter over the weekend, an impaired driver passed her on the road with one tire dragging sideways.
In her post, Glendinning says she pulled the woman over and walked up to the vehicle.
“Before I can say anything, the 8-yr-old passenger starts yelling. ‘THANK GOD YOU PULLED US OVER! I THOUGHT WE WERE ALL GOING TO DIE!'” she writes.
Pull an impaired driver over after she passes me dragging one tire sideways.
I get to her window. Before I can say anything, the 8-yr-old passenger starts yelling.
"THANK GOD YOU PULLED US OVER! I THOUGHT WE WERE ALL GOING TO DIE!"
— Sandra Glendinning (@BehindBlueLine) September 14, 2019
The online reaction is one of shock, with some pointing out the eight-year-old seems to have been the only adult in the vehicle.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. That poor child,” writes one Twitter user, another also expressing gratitude, typing “Omg so young thank god you were able to stop them so sad.”
At least one person is reminded of the King James Bible quote: “Out of the mouth of babes.”
The post comes just days after a suspected drunk driver hit an 18-year-old and then a 12-year-old in Langley. These cases do not appear to be related to the incident Glendinning is describing.
MADD Canada calls for B.C. to implement child endangerment laws
While B.C.’s Ministry of Child and Family Development has been notified in this case, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada CEO Andrew Murie notes other provinces — namely Manitoba and Nova Scotia — have laws in place which stiffen the penalties for impaired drivers caught with passengers under the age of 16.
“Usually children don’t have a lot of control in those type of situations and the parent is, in some ways, causing some kind of abuse to that child in potential death and injury,” he says.
“Why are these people that put vulnerable people at risk treated the same way? They should be punished more, and they should be required to do some educational things around parenting.”
On this, @maddcanada CEO Andrew Murie notes that BC lacks the kind of child endangerment laws Nova Scotia and Manitoba have, which stiffen penalties for impaired drivers with passengers under the age of 16. https://t.co/uatJJCFIpH @NEWS1130 https://t.co/eH3jhu7uku
— Kurtis Doering (@KDnewsguy) September 16, 2019
Murie adds the messages MADD Canada has been disseminating for 30 years are often better received by children than adults. The organization focuses on kids in grades four through six.
“We encourage them where ever possible in these type of situations, if they have a cell phone, to call 9-1-1 and report their parents for their own safety.”
According to MADD Canada, up to four Canadians are killed every day in alcohol or drug-related crashes on public roads.