Saturday, July 31, 2010

People argue to be able to drink and drive!

Why do people still insist on driving after they have been drinking? Why do drivers speed at ridiculous rates through residential neighbourhoods, or anywhere else for that matter?

I had the misfortune today of attending a fatal crash in North York this morning. A car was travelling at a high rate of speed and was T-boned in an intersection on a quiet little side street.

The debris field was huge. 2 cars absolutely destroyed. 1 person dead and 4 sent to hospital. One of the drivers was arrested for an alcohol offence related to driving. The car he was driving was the one that the deceased person was in, that was allegedly speeding and allegedly went through a stop sign.

Between Twitter and Facebook there were lots of messages condemning drinking and driving and aggressive driving. That led to some conversation about the new 21 and under law. Surprisingly in some of that conversation stream, people were willing to chastise the new law for being age discriminatory or unacceptable on some level because of a Zero BAC requirement.

WHAT??? Why in the world would people argue to be able to drink and drive. I mean that's really what it comes down to. That is what you are arguing defend your desire to drink and drive. Think about it. If you argue against a zero BAC, or the newer "Warn Range" Suspensions being too restrictive, or the legal limit being too low, you are arguing in essence to be allowed to drive a 2000 pound weapon with an an intoxicant in your system!

How about supporting the notion of someone drinking while walking down the street with a loaded machine gun.

I had a number of people ask my opinion on the law and what I believe. Some asked if I believe it should be just 21 and under or all drivers. Well, you probably know me well enough by now to know what my answer was:


Friday, July 30, 2010

2010 Scotiabank Caribana Festival Parade Information

On Saturday, July 31, 2010, the 43rd Annual Scotiabank Caribana Festival Parade will take place on Lake Shore Blvd. W. between Strachan Avenue and Colbourne Lodge Drive.The festival will require numerous road closures, restrictions which will lead to delays and congestion in the immediate area of the parade.

Road Closures:
The following Gardiner Expressway ramps will be closed at 12:30 a.m., on Saturday, July 31st, 2010:
E/B Gardiner Expressway and Jameson exit, Jameson entrance and B.C. entrance.
W/B Gardiner Expressway and Dunn Ave. exit ramp.

Lakeshore Blvd. W. will be closed to traffic at 1:30 a.m., from westbound Strachan Ave. to Parkside Dr. and eastbound from Colbourne Lodge to Strachan Ave. on Saturday, July 31st, 2010.

Caribana will set up their Market Place locations south of the Lakeshore Blvd. W. on the Thursday and Friday prior to the day of the event. Their final move in of goods and supplies will be on Saturday, morning from 1:30 a.m.. to 8:00 a.m., then all vendors will be refused entry. All access for vendors will be via Lakeshore Blvd. W. and Colborne Lodge Dr., eastbound on Lakeshore Blvd. W. from Ellis Ave. or Windermere Ave.

All vendors must have a Caribana permit adhered to their front windshield in good condition or entry will be refused. (One permit per vehicle - absolutely NO exceptions)

Parade bands/ floats/trucks will access the formation area via Lakeshore Blvd. W. and Strachan Ave., then travel west to Newfoundland Rd. to enter the Exhibition Grounds Formation Area. The cut off time for entry into the formation area is 1000 hrs however, any late arrivals will be permitted into a staging area on the north side of Lakeshore Blvd W. from Strachan Ave to Newfoundland. The late arrivals will be permitted northbound on Newfoundland Ave at three separate times for 15 minute intervals each (10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m.). Entry will not be permitted at any other point. Support vehicles will exit prior to 10:00 hrs from Newfoundland Rd. and Lakeshore Blvd. W., then eastbound on Lakeshore Blvd. W. to Strachan Ave.

Tour Buses: are to be directed to the Loading Docks on the east side of the Direct Energy Centre at Canada Blvd. south of Manitoba Dr.

Disabled Parking: will be at the Direct Energy Centre. Enter via Manitoba Dr. and Strachan Ave. then south on Canada Blvd. to the entrance ramp of the Direct Energy Centre.

V.I.P.’s and Media parking will be in the direct Energy Centre: underground parking garage west side.

Volunteers are to use the Dufferin St. access to gain entry to Parking Lot “4” on Saskatchewan Rd north of Princes’ Blvd.

All vehicle access to Ontario Place will be through Remembrance Dr. at Lakeshore Blvd. W. and Strachan Ave. Vehicles exiting Ontario Place will do so only at Lakeshore Blvd. W. and Ontario Place Blvd. and will travel eastbound on Lakeshore Blvd. W. only.


In order to assist the safe movement of traffic and to provide for as little disruption as possible to residents, the following streets will have a restricted access, for vehicles:

Dufferin St. south of King St. W.
Dowling Ave. south of King St. W.
Stadium Rd. south of Lakeshore Blvd. W.
Queens Quay W. west of Bathurst St.
Springhurst Ave. west of Jameson Ave.
Springhurst Ave. east of Jameson Ave.

Other streets, although not restricted to vehicles, will be strictly enforced for parking infractions. These streets are in the area south of King St. W., east of Colborne Lodge and west of Bathurst St.


There are several vehicle passes for Caribana participants, volunteers and V.I.P.s. There are also vehicle or personal identification cards used by employees of Exhibition Place and Ontario Place. All of these passes are valid for the given location or event specified in the specific traffic details. Caribana has assigned marshals to the entrance to the formation area at Lakeshore Blvd. W. and Strachan Ave.

The final move in for Vendors will be between 01:30 a.m., and 8:00 a.m., on Saturday morning. All vendors must enter the Market Place from the west end of the closure on Lakeshore Blvd. W. from Colborne Lodge Dr. only. All vendors approaching the closure southbound on Parkside Dr. will be directed west to Colborne Lodge Dr. to enter the closure. The Vendor Holding Area will be east of Parkside Dr. to the area near the Palais Royale.

Drivers entering Lakeshore Blvd. W. are to be advised to drive slowly and watch for pedestrians and obey directions of Caribana Marshals.


Vehicle access west of Bathurst St. on Fleet St. and Lakeshore Blvd. W. may be closed after the parking lots at Ontario Place and Exhibition Place Gore Lots are full. This closure will be in effect as required.


All vehicles including tour buses, parked illegally on Lakeshore Blvd. W. (including the grassed area), Bathurst St., Fleet St., King St. W., Queen St. W., Roncesvalles Ave., Dufferin St. and The Queensway will be tagged and towed.

Vehicles parked illegally in the Parkdale and Stadium Rd. areas will be tagged and towed.

The Parking Enforcement Unit will be mainly responsible for towing issues.


TTC: The T.T.C. will be putting 25 buses on the Parkside Dr. route starting at 8:40 a.m. on Saturday, July 31, 2010. This will be an express route to the Keele St. Station from the Palais Royale area on Lakeshore Blvd. W. Bus lanes will be marked by the placement of cones on Lakeshore Blvd. W. by the T.T.C.

The Jameson Ave. bus route will have approximately 12 buses in service and will not stop at Springhurst Ave. when southbound. The drop off and pick up area will be a temporary T.T.C. bus stop on the south side of the westbound lanes of Lakeshore Blvd. W., between Dunn Ave. and Jameson Ave., for the express buses to the Bloor St. W. subway line. To maintain this bus route Springhurst Blvd. must be kept clear of parked vehicles between Jameson Ave. and Dunn Ave.

The Dufferin St. bus line will have approximately 65 - 70 buses assigned to handle the heavy crowds. It will not enter Exhibition Place Grounds.

The Bathurst St. streetcars will drop off passengers on the north side of Fleet St. Streetcars and buses leaving Exhibition Place will not stop at Strachan Ave.

T.T.C. service to and from the east end of the event will be through the Manitoba Dr. and Strachan Ave. area of Exhibition Place.

TTC will stop at Fort York Blvd., and Fleet St., to enable any passengers attending Ontario Place to exit at this location.

The Princes’ Gates will remain closed on Saturday, July 31st, 2010 commencing at 12:01 am.

General Parking is provided by Exhibition Place inside the grounds in the underground lot at the Direct Energy Centre, and Lot #6. Lot #4 is the Volunteer Parking Lot. There is also parking available in the Gore Lot (n/side Lakeshore Blvd. W. east of Strachan Ave).


Access to Ontario Place will be possible along Remembrance Dr. from Lakeshore Blvd. W. and Strachan Ave. Ontario Place parking lots will be open during this event. Exit from Ontario Place will be at Ontario Place Blvd. and Lakeshore Blvd. W. to travel eastbound only.

All Ontario Place employees have their own identification provided by Ontario Place. Should a road closure take place at Bathurst St., people from Ontario Place (with valid vehicle passes) and Yacht Club members will be allowed through the closure point.


The vendor check area for the parklands (FMC Vendors) will be located eastbound Lakeshore Blvd. W. between Colborne Lodge Dr., and Parkside Dr. Caribana officials, Security, and Police personnel will be present.

C.N.E. Vendors will be allowed to enter Exhibition Place Grounds at all times provided they have the proper Exhibition Place Vendor passes/identification.


Lost children will be taken to the Queen Elizabeth Building Exhibit Hall on the north side of Princes Blvd. west of Ontario Dr. The location will be signed as such.

At 10:00 p.m., any remaining children will be transported to No. 14 Division which is located at 150 Harrison Street, Toronto (416)808-1400

The Gardiner Expressway is a restricted access highway which will be patrolled to ensure that vehicles are not parked adjacent to the parade route and pedestrians do not enter the highway area. Drivers who chose to stop or drive in a manner that puts other road users at risk will be subject to strict enforcement.Due to the large number of visitors and continuous events that occur with the festival, intermittent road closures may occur throughout the downtown core, without notice, in the evenings and nights of Friday, July 31 to Sunday August 2 in the interest of public safety.Historically, Yonge Street and the Entertainment District access has been restricted in the evenings and overnight.It is recommended that you make yourself aware of alternative routes before heading into the downtown or entertainment district areas to avoid delays.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Can YOU stop impaired driving?

According to StatsCan Impaired driving offences have risen for a third consecutive year across Canada. There was a 3% rise from 2008 to 2009. As far as I'm concerned, that is ridiculous.

Governments across the country at both the federal and provincial levels have been making great strides to combat these offences with sanctions, tougher sentences, greater awareness and new laws, but the offence keeps happening!

By and large, the vast majority of us seem to get the fact that it is socially unacceptable to drive impaired. But it seems that many are still doing it. Death, injury, financial ruin, job loss, are things that are very real consequences from such an irrational decision to drive while impaired.

So what's the answer? How do we stop this offence from occurring? The police have their ideas, courts theirs and governments their own...but what about you? What do you think is the answer to curbing this stat from continuing it's upward climb? Here is your chance to voice your thoughts.

Let me give you some numbers to think about: 2009
Total Arrests in Canada for Impaired: 88,630
Total Arrests in Toronto: 2253
Per 100,000 in Canada: 263
Per 100,000 in Toronto: 90

As you can see, Toronto is doing very well compared to the rest of Canada, but very well just doesn't cut it when we are talking about life changing implications such as permanent disability and death because of a preventable, selfish criminal act.

And let's be realistic...2253 people that were caught while driving impaired. How many slipped through that we have no idea about? How many think that they will get away with having 'one for the road'?

What do you think should happen to those people that endanger all our lives. What could be an effective deterrent to stop the people that are willing to sacrifice the lives of our children, our spouses, our parents, our friends?

Its obvious that the threat of a criminal record, licence suspension, death and injury don't stop some of the what will?

I would love to hear what you think. Get creative, be genius...who knows maybe your collective thoughts will send a clear message to our law makers, our courts and most importantly to those people who just don't get it.

Here are a couple of suggestions that I've heard in the past to get the ball rolling;Life time driving ban.
Special licence plates.
De-criminalize low alcohol limits and provide huge fines with long suspensions.

So do me a favour. Please take some time, and let me know what YOU think. Tell me YOUR ideas. Between this blog, Twitter, Facebook and anything else I can think of, I know there is a gem out there that has not been given enough consideration and you could be the person or group responsible for reducing collisions, injuries and death, not just here...but everywhere!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Guest Post by Sharon DeVellis

Feature Blogger for and
July 05, 2010

Warning...language is not suitable for younger readers, but to edit it would remove the passion that Sharon brought to this post.

I’m so beyond pissed off right now I can’t stand it. While putting on make up this morning while watching Breakfast Television, I listened as Kevin Frankish reported about how a father died in front of his two kids, ages 7 and 11, last night.

Was it a long weekend freak accident? Did he have a heart attack?

No. He was killed from a head-on collision by a driver who was going the wrong way on a major highway. The car is virtually unrecognizable with the front passenger seat pretty much obliterated.

The dad, the one sitting in the now gone front passenger seat, was killed instantly. The mom who was driving was airlifted to a hospital and is in critical condition.
The two kids are unhurt.

But not really. They aren’t fucking unhurt. They lost their father. Their mother is in a hospital and will hopefully recuperate but will have who knows how many months or years to get back to where she was.

The family? That’ll never get back to where it was, will it? Because I can tell you from experience, this accident will be the turning point in their lives. From this point forward, life for them will be known as before the accident and after the accident.

“Alcohol is being investigated as a factor in the collision.”

And this is where I say What The Fuck? And yes, I’m using f-bomb. If you’re offended, then walk away from the computer. But I earned the right to use What the fuck when two years ago a drunk driver smashed head-on into our family on a Sunday afternoon as we driving to my inlaws house to celebrate Mother’s Day. I earned it when I had to calm my screaming, bleeding child sitting by the side of the road waiting for police and paramedics to arrive. I earned it when I had to hold both my kids beside me on the ambulance ride to the hospital and when I had to see the drunk driver being admitted AHEAD OF US and he was so drunk he couldn't even tell the nurse his name.

I earned it when I chose to stay sitting with my son in my lap and didn’t get up to beat the shit out of him at that very moment.

I earned it when I had to give my child drunk driving magic every single night before bed in order for him to be able to sleep and when I went to court to read our impact statement in front of a full courtroom, only to have the man who changed our family forever not look me in the eye once, not even when I held up pictures of my sons so he could see who he hurt.

I earned it when I listened as the judge revoked his license for 15 months and gave him a fine to pay and he walked away with his wife to go home to his young child. The one who didn’t need therapy from being in a head-on collision.

So I say What The Fuck.

Because I earned it.

And now this family has earned it and they don’t deserve it.

How many people have to die or be injured in drunk driving accidents before we smarten the hell up and get stricter laws?
For the original blog post and the comments click here.
Photo by David Ritchie
~~Editor's Note~~
At this time there have been no charges laid against the driver who was 18 years old, although alcohol is suspected. In Ontario, the legal drinking age is I would expect that if alcohol is proven there will be several charges laid.
Once that happens, it is up to the courts to determine what the penalty, upon conviction, should be for:
An underage drinker who kills a father a of two young girls
Seriously injuring the surviving parent
Destroying a family in ways that we can't possibly imagine

Monday, July 5, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, I asked followers on Twitter to help make our roads safer by taking the #NoPhoneZone pledge. (Re-cap)...Take the pledge, let me know through facebook and twitter that you did it and I would put your Twitter ID into a randomizer, draw the names of lucky winners of some great prizes and let you know.

Well this morning I ran the names and I am happy to say that:
are all winners.

Truth be told...if everyone that signed the pledge follows through with it, we are all winners since that means safer roads for all of us.

I sent out the Tweet advising the winners to DM me so I could send them their amazing prizes. Once they have all been sent their prizes, I will let you know what the prize packs are.

To everyone who took part, I offer my sincere thanks. Like the signature on my email says, "Road safety is everyone's responsibility."

BUT, just because the draw is done, please don't let it stop you from signing up for the pledge and making your car a #NoPhoneZone. Remember, it's not the's the distraction.

You can still take the pledge. Click here to help do your part.