Police ask for end to checkstop tweets
Edmonton police are asking people not to tweet the locations of checkstops set up to catch impaired drivers.
"Putting lives in danger based on the fact that you want to have more followers on your Twitter account is pretty disappointing," said checkstop co-ordinator Const. Ian Brooks.
In recent days, a number of users of the social media service have taken to tweeting the exact locations of checkstops throughout the city. The practice has prompted a heated online debate between those who think the information should be shared and those who deem it stupid and unethical.
Brooks is asking people to consider how they would feel if a drunk driver who avoided a checkstop ended up causing a collision that hurt someone.
"Maybe that one time that we would have actually picked them up and prevented something in the future, maybe that's enabling them to commit further offences and to put everyone in jeopardy," Brooks said.
The tweets have also angered Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
"We need to think about what the consequences could be," said MADD national president Denise Dubyk.
"We're talking about something that's the number one criminal cause of death in Canada and that's impaired driving."
While many condemn the practice, not much can be done about it under the law, according to Doug King, an associate professor of justice studies at Calgary's Mount Royal University.
"God forbid, you tweeted me and I got out on the road and killed someone and I was impaired, there would be no way that you could be held responsible for my actions," he said.
Police spokeswoman Alyson Edwards says people may think twice about drinking and driving if they know police are out.
She says there is no point ignoring the fact that people will share that checkstop information with their friends.