Sharon McGregor has a message for you – she wants to tell you about her son Matthew.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  December 20, 2012  The past few days we’ve all seen the television news and watched saddened grief stricken parents bury their children – after a senseless brutal shooting spree that an apparently disturbed young man went on at an elementary school in his community.

We wonder why things like this have to happen and we struggle to understand.

Sharon McGregor understands the hurt, the loss and deals with the hole in her heart every day of her life

During the upcoming holiday blockbuster movie season, thousands of people enjoying a night out at the movies in Halton will get to see a powerful 30-second video highlighting the painful consequences of impaired driving on an Oakville mom.

The video alternates between smiling images of 17-year old Matthew McGregor and heart-wrenching statements from his mother about how his sudden death has impacted her and her family.

Matthew victim of a drunk driving a car.

“The powerful testimonial of Matthew’s mother, Sharon McGregor, will hopefully make people pause to stop, think, plan ahead and not drive impaired,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “We want Halton drivers to feel safe on our roads. Road safety is a top priority for Halton Regional Council and by partnering with the Halton Regional Police Service, we’re working together to make sure this holiday season is a safe one for everyone.”

The video, created by Halton Region and the Halton Regional Police Service, will be shown to more than 125,000 movie-goers in theatres.  A three-minute companion video featuring more details about Matthew’s story and what people can do to stop impaired driving will soon be available on the Region’s web site. 

“Matthew’s story is a tragic and unfortunate real life example of what can happen when alcohol and driving mix,” said Halton Deputy Chief of Police Bob Percy. “It demonstrates that tragedies have occurred in our own backyard and are not simply some random clip we see on the news. We need to commit to ongoing attention to road safety to ensure everyone has a safe holiday season.”

Through the Halton Drive SAFE (Safety Awareness for Everyone) program and the Safe Roads…Your Call campaign, drivers can see signs throughout the Region reminding them to call 911 if they see a suspected impaired driver on the roads. Impaired driving is a crime in progress and one call could save someone’s life.

Most residents are also familiar with the Holiday R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign conducted by the Halton Regional Police Service. During last year’s campaign from December 1-31, 2011, Halton Regional Police stopped 17,396 vehicles; administered 564 roadside breath tests and made 37 arrests for impaired driving.

There is a dedicated police team that has a crew out on the roads every day and night between now and the first days of January.  The police know where the hot spots are and, this year, much like last year and the years before that – the police will arrest people who should not be behind the wheel of a car.

Drink if you wish but before you reach for your car keys – think of Sharon McGregor and the day she had to bury her son Matthew.  That accident didn’t have to happen.  You, yes YOU can prevent the next death by calling a cab or asking a friend to drive you home.

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