1 year since Van de Vorst family killed by impaired driver
Van de Vorst's father wants to help change attitudes in Sask. on drunk driving
It's been a year since Louis Van de Vorst lost his son's family in a car accident caused by an impaired driver — and he wants to honour the day by speaking out against drinking and driving.
Jordan and Chanda Van de Vorst and their two children Miguire, 2, and Kamryn, 5, died after a collision on Highway 11 on Jan. 3 last year.
Catherine McKay failed to halt at a stop sign at Wanuskewin Road and Highway 11 and collided with the car carrying the family of four. McKay had been driving with a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit.
Glow sticks tribute
Louis Van de Vorst is planning to put out glow sticks in memory of his family. He is asking others across the province to join him as a way to speak out against drinking and driving.
"It's not just a tribute to my son and his family, but in honour and a tribute to those people that have died from impaired driving and to just call attention to the problem that we have in terms of the numbers of impaired people who are charged with impaired driving," he said.
He hopes to bring the problem of impaired driving to the forefront to change people's attitudes in Saskatchewan about drinking and driving.
It's one way we can remind people to be responsible and to think twice about it.- Louis Van de Vorst
"I would like to see a change, not for myself, not for my family, but we lost four members of our family. Even losing one member to such a senseless act can be definitely prevented," he said.
He said he and his wife feel a responsibility to speak out against drunk driving to help prevent others from having to experience the loss they have.
"It's one way we can remind people to be responsible and to think twice about it."
Van de Vorst said support for his planned tribute has been strong, and he hears of many people across Saskatchewan planning to join him by putting out glow sticks as well.
Van de Vorst finds the new, more strict laws now in effect an encouraging start in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan had the highest rate of reported impaired driving incidents of all provinces in 2015.
"I think it needs to have a concentrated effort over the next while to really make a change," he said.
"Think about how you're going to get home before you have the first drink, rather than after you've had two or three, because you can't make a rational, good, common sense decision."
Under the stricter law, experienced drivers found to have a blood-alcohol level between .04 and .08 — on a first offence — will have their vehicles seized and impounded for three days. A zero tolerance policy will also be enacted for drivers aged 21 and under.