Wednesday, 24 May 2017 13:54

SGI’s new campaign says that people shouldn’t disappear

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Their faces range from infancy to youthful to adult and seniors. There are family portraits, vacation pictures, and high-school graduation shots.

In all, there are a dozen sets of new faces of the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) campaign which is trying to pull on the heartstrings of people in order to warn of the consequences of impaired driving.
The focus of the “People Shouldn’t Disappear” campaign is not paid models — these are real Saskatchewan residents whose lives have been tragically cut short because of impaired driving.
In the campaign, the loved ones who have perished, disappear, through computer wizardry, from the photos and videos as a stark reminder of the devastating holes these types of needless fatalities have left behind.
Being reminded real people are losing parents, siblings, or having entire sets of families wiped out is a sad and tragic indictment on those committing these selfish crimes. Losing a loved one because of an accident or disease is one thing, but driving impaired is like playing Russian Roulette. The consequences are devastating for all families.
According to SGI, more than 600 people have lost their lives — an appalling number — and over 4,000 were injured because of impaired driving in the last 10 years.
Saskatchewan now has one of the toughest set of drinking and driving laws in Canada. The new laws came into effect in January. Added was a “three-day vehicle seizure for experienced drivers caught for the first time with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .04; increasing the age of zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol from under 19 to 21 and under, and making ignition interlock laws the strongest in Canada.”
While social media reactions have been mixed, we congratulate SGI’s creative team for attempting this last-ditch effort to reach the masses.
Some may say say it’s exploiting the families who have suffered losses, but they just want others to be more aware so it doesn’t happen to them.
It is sad when those who have suffered the losses are the ones who care enough about others to share their pain and experience in order to teach. The question is: will the ones who need to be reached listen or are they too selfish to care?
The hope is there is some semblance of sensitivity in those foolish minds who think it is okay to drive under the influence.
No one can complain the provincial government hasn’t tried to reverse the trend. It is now up to individuals.
Everyone complains government is too involved in people’s lives, but here’s an opportunity where the public can do its part. Obviously any life lost because of impaired driving is one too many. The government is trying to do something about what has become an epidemic of stupidity.
There are alternative ways to get home ... even in the rural areas. It takes some planning, some sacrifice and some selflessness.
It’s a sad state of affairs when a government needs to explain to others how stupid it is to gamble with others’ lives.
It’s not exploitative, it’s not families wanting attention or sympathy. They just want the selfishness and arrogance to stop.
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor