Maritime Business College Corrections and Law Enforcement instructor Pat Moran played a large role in some provincial legislation.
Moran retired from the RCMP, after almost 36-years, all of which was spent in Nova Scotia. The legislation he helped enact was for aggressive and impaired driving. The basis of it was a three-year project he led for the provincial government.
Moran assembled a six-person team involving three different police forces. They were tasked by the provincial ministers of education, health and infrastructure and transportation to investigate and respond to a survey from school-aged kids sent out months prior.
The survey dealt with young people and issues driving while impaired. The government wanted to confirm or refute the results of the survey.
It was an eye opener for the province because there was a higher percentage of respondents aged 16 to 20 claiming to drive while impaired and never encountering the police.
“That shocked them and on its face it was shocking to me,” says Moran. “So, our goal was to work with that.”
Moran and his team covered an area west of Highway 102 down to Yarmouth, including both the north and south shores.
It was an intelligence-based enforcement initiative focusing solely on driving issues.
“Not so much speeders, although that was one of the focuses, but the more aggressive driving,” says Moran.
That included stunt driving, impaired driving or drivers being on their phone.
In the three-year timeframe almost 200,000 cars were checked.
“We charged hundreds if not thousands of impaired drivers,” says Moran. “So we did get a lot of impaired drivers off the road, but they weren’t the young people.”
They were able to determine that young people would have a drink, but have no tolerance for alcohol. Due to psychological or pharmacological reasons they would believe themselves to be impaired even though they were not.
“Their answers were skewed towards their feelings and not their actual level of intoxication,” says Moran.
When the project concluded there was an almost complete revamping of the Motor Vehicle Act concerning driving offences, young people, newly-licensed drivers and alcohol involvement.
They also contributed to the House of Commons standing committee on impaired driving and changes in the criminal code through a local judge who queried them on their findings and recommendations. That resulted in changes made to provincial statutes.
“I thought that was quite interesting,” says Moran. “It was fun. At the same time it was educational and according to the government we saved them millions of dollars.”