The faces of 10 Toronto residents killed by drunk drivers will again grace the back of select TTC buses this holiday season as part of a MADD Canada campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.
The initiative will see the name and photo of each victim displayed alongside the message “A victim of an alcohol related crash.”
The hope, organizers say, is that people who encounter the posters will be reminded about the true cost of impaired driving and think twice about getting behind the wheel while impaired.“When you see all the buses here today and all the pictures at the back and realize that every one of those families is going to have someone missing at their table this holiday season it is a really sobering reminder of what can happen,” MADD Canada’s Regional Director for Ontario East Carolyn Swinson told CP24 during a launch event at the Wilson bus yard on Sunday. “It is a blink of an eye and it changes your life forever.”
Swinson’s son Rob was killed by a drunk driver in 1993 and his face is one of 10 included in the TTC bus campaign.
She said that even today, seeing his picture “takes your breath away.”
“It just goes to show that when you lose somebody the pain of that doesn’t go away and I think particularly around the holidays,” she said. “It is very hard and I think the older we get the more we miss him.”
‘You just learn to live with the pain’
This is the third year that the faces of impaired driving victims have graced TTV buses during the holiday season.
Valya Tsaneva, whose 22-year-old daughter Kalina was killed by a drunk driver four years ago, said that seeing the image nonetheless still rips her heart out.
“The campaign has been going on for three years and I often receive messages from friends and neighbours who see her and my heart just skips a beat every time,” she said. “I know it sends a message but for me the pain as fresh as the night I received the call. You just learn to live with the pain, it never goes away.”
The initiative is part of MADD Canada’s Red Ribbon Campaign.