A car sitting in the Courtenay City Hall parking lot is eye-catching, and that is exactly the point a local non-profit group is trying to make in order to draw attention to the dangers of impaired driving.
On Friday (May 28), the Comox Valley chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), along with Dunn Right Towing & Recovery, placed a badly damaged vehicle facing Cliffe Avenue for one week as part of a four-week awareness campaign.
The vehicle was involved in an impaired driving crash along Royston Road in the Comox Valley, and Damon Dunn, the owner of the towing company, said he was the attending tow truck driver at the scene of the accident.
“I hope that it makes somebody think, maybe think twice (before) going for a ride; it’s not worth it – it really isn’t,” he said.
Dunn, who has been involved with the P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) Program for 15 years, donated the vehicle for the local campaign and added the owner of the vehicle supports his former vehicle being used.
“If it saves one person from drinking and driving, then it’s worth it – every hour I put into it.”
Leslie Wells, president of MADD Comox Valley noted the car sends a powerful image, particularly one that was involved in an impaired driving accident locally.
“Awareness is the big thing, and hopefully, it hits home for drivers (that they need) to be sober and paying attention.”
She added the idea came about from other MADD chapters who were searching for an awareness campaign idea throughout the pandemic.
“Someone came up with this idea and it went over really well with the community so it’s been used now in a few communities and we’re really happy that we’re able to bring it here.”
Throughout the campaign, the car will be moved to three other locations in Courtenay every Friday for the next few weeks. Next Friday, it will be placed in front of Mark. R. Isfeld Secondary on Lerwick Road, then Simms Millennium Park and finally in front of the Courtenay Fire Hall on Cumberland Road.
Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells said the city is proud to partner and support MADD Comox Valley to be part of the display.
“In this day and age, too many of us know somebody that has been injured or killed because of an impaired driver … the city is glad to be able to participate. Whether it’s drinking or cannabis or any other drugs that can impair your driving – it can even be sleepiness – it’s really trying to raise that awareness and make people think twice before they get behind the wheel.”
For more information or to donate to the local chapter, visit maddchapters.ca/comoxvalley.