Fighting Drugged Driving Victim Impact Panels (VIP) In 2016, the refresh of MADD Victim Impact Panels was completed and piloted in five locations. Staff in these locations completed the training, trained their volunteers, implemented the entire program, and provided constructive feedback for any improvements needed in the program. We are pleased to announce that MADD’s refreshed VIP program and the trainings that coincide will be presented to all staff and volunteers across the country in 2017. Additionally in 2016, the majority of MADD’s offices implemented an online class reservation system that allows individuals to pay their VIP fees online using credit cards. The updated technology has made access to our program easier and more efficient for users. In 2015, MADD expanded its mission to include the fight against drugged driving, which provided opportunities to showcase its efforts throughout 2016. MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church spoke passionately about the need for more data and research needed on drugged driving and for more support to law enforcement in their efforts to arrest drugged drivers. At dozens of events and appearances, including Lifesavers, the nation’s largest traffic safety conference to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Drug Recognition Expert Conference in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal, Sheehey- Church reminded audiences that law enforcement officers remain our first line of defense again drunk and drugged drivers. This year there was also significant media coverage about the emerging traffic safety issue of drugged driving including quotes from MADD leaders. USA Today reported that although the annual number of fatal vehicle crashes in the U.S. has trended down in recent years, the number involving positive drug tests has increased. And the Chicago Tribune explained the challenges that come with proving, scientifically, drug- impaired driving without trained drug recognition experts. To all audiences, MADD’s messages were loud and clear: drugged driving is a 100 percent preventable choice, just like drunk driving, and MADD is here to support victims and law enforcement.
Someone’s deadly choice of impaired driving killed my 18-year-old son, so I am utterly grateful to law enforcement officers for risking their lives every day to get these criminals off our roads! -Colleen Sheehey-Church
Ending Drunk Driving
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