Bench Reminder to Drivers

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 3:45 p.m. May 16, 2016

Anyone entering or leaving through the front entrance of Toronto Police Service headquarters will see a bench that will remind them of the risks and consequences of impaired driving.

A woman and a man in TPS uniform seated on a bench
Everilda Ratnakumar, MADD Toronto chapter president, and Deputy Chief Mike Federico sit on the MADD Canada bench that serves as a reminder not to drink and drive

Mother Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Toronto chapter unveiled the public bench, on May 16, to raise public awareness about impaired driving.

“We are very proud to have the bench here in recognition of the wonderful partnership we have with Toronto Police,” said MADD executive director Everilda Ratnakumar. “We want this bench to serve as an important reminder to everyone who sees it, a reminder about the terrible and tragic toll impaired driving takes and a reminder that every single person has the power to prevent impaired driving.

“We want people to truly understand that impaired driving is not a mistake. It’s not an accident and it’s not something that just happens. It is a decision that someone makes behind the wheel when they shouldn’t.”

Ratnakumar said impaired driving is 100 per cent preventable.

“When people make responsible decisions and when they plan ahead for a sober ride home, impaired driving is prevented,” she said. “We hope this bench will remind people that impaired driving is simply not worth the risk.”

Deputy Chief Mike Federico said the bench is an important symbol of a very serious public-safety risk.

We truly want people to understand that impaired driving is not a mistake, it is not an accident or something that just happens. This is a deliberate choice that community members make and we want them to make a good choice

“We hope this bench will serve as an important reminder to the general public of the terrible tragic toll that impaired driving takes on individuals, on families and on our community,” he said. “We truly want people to understand that impaired driving is not a mistake, it is not an accident or something that just happens. This is a deliberate choice that community members make and we want them to make a good choice.

“…When people make responsible decisions and plan for a sober ride home, impaired driving is prevented. We hope this bench will remind people that impaired driving is simply not worth the risk, not to the innocent people involved in the crash and not to the individual making the choice to get behind the wheel impaired…Here, in Toronto, we ae rightly concerned about the violence in our city, the shootings and the homicides, but the deaths and injuries associated with impaired driving far outnumber violent incidents that this city experiences.”

Four people are killed and 175 injured daily in Canada by impairment-related crashes.

Approximately, 65,000 Canadians are affected by impaired drivers annually.


A man in TPS uniform and a woman remove a red tarp from a bench
MADD Toronto Chapter President Everilda Ratnakumar and Deputy Chief Mike Federico unveil a bench in front of headquarters
TPS crest watermark