PANS-08

POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 87 impairment-related traffic deaths. For example, 1625 year olds constituted only 13.7% of the Canadian population in 2003, but accounted for 32.1% of the alcohol-related traffic fatalities. While young people are overrepresented as drivers of passenger vehicles in alcohol-related deaths, they are overrepresented to an even greater degree among passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and ATV and snowmobile operators. The impaired crash problem among youth is not simply a function of their immaturity and lack of driving experience; it also reflects their hazardous patterns of alcohol and drug use. The second section examines the range of regulatory controls that the provinces and territories can implement over the availability, marketing and consumption of alcohol. Our focus is on measures that will most directly impact binge and underage drinking among youth, and the alcohol-related crash deaths that result. Research has established that levels of hazardous consumption are related to elevated rates of alcohol-related harms, including traffic crashes. Moreover, the early onset of drinking among youth is associated with increased alcohol-related problems and injuries both during adolescence and later in life. MADD Canada recommends that the minimum drinking age be increased to 19 in Alberta, Manitoba and Québec. All jurisdictions should: increase beer prices to bring them into line with liquor prices on a per standard drink basis; standardize prices within beverage types in terms of alcohol content; and index alcohol prices to inflation. The provinces should establish/maintain government monopolies over off-premise alcohol sales and alcohol delivery services, and implement keg registration laws. The various underagedrinking offences (e.g. illicit sales, provision and possession, and the production and use of forged IDs) should be more rigorously enforced and sanctioned. The provinces need to increase public awareness of the existing prohibitions against selling, giving or providing alcohol to underage or intoxicated individuals, and the potential civil liability consequences of breaching these prohibitions. A tiered program of mandatory server and management training should be introduced for all licensed establishments. Furthermore, the provinces need to enforce the existing alcohol advertising laws, particularly the regulations governing lifestyle advertising that targets youth. Of particular concern is the need to dramatically increase enforcement of the liquor licence legislation, especially in licensed premises catering to youth. Older teens and young adults do a disproportionate share of their drinking in a relatively small number of establishments, which are typically well known to the police and licensing authorities. The underage and over-service prohibitions are routinely ignored by many of these venues. The existing licensing laws need to be far more frequently and rigorously enforced. As long as there are very large numbers of intoxicated youth leaving bars, taverns and similar licensed premises every weekend night, they will continue to dominate the statistics on alcohol-related driver, passenger and pedestrian traffic deaths. The third section of the study examines several driver-licensing measures that have been shown to reduce youth traffic deaths and injuries. We begin by outlining the case for a minimum driving age of 16. Currently, a majority of Canadian jurisdictions permit individuals to obtain a learning permit prior to the age of 16, but in some cases, only if they are enrolled in a driver education program. Research indicates that a driving age below 16 is associated with higher crash risks, and that increasing the minimum driving age reduces crashes among younger drivers. We also propose that all jurisdictions establish a comprehensive graduated licensing program (GLP). Studies from Ontario, Nova Scotia, Québec, the United States, and New Zealand have consistently shown that GLPs significantly reduce crash deaths and injuries among the affected population. GLPs allow new drivers to gain onthe-road experience in low-risk circumstances, and gradually introduce them to more challenging situations. Since the elevated crash risks of beginning drivers are related to their inexperience and not just their age, the GLP should apply to beginning drivers of all ages. MADD Canada advocates that a comprehensive three-stage GLP be established for all new drivers, irrespective of age. Stage 1 should be 12 months in length, during which novice drivers must be accompanied by a supervisor, who is at least 21 and has been fully licensed for two or more years. Stage-1 drivers should also be subject to nighttime driving, high-speed road, and passenger continued... (...Youth and Impaired continued)

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy MTM0NTk1OA==