coming back alive
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Pete
Pete Crompton as a child
A Father Takes Action
Crompton family
Ken Crompton and his two boys, Pete and Jeff

Following Pete's death, former Premier Ernie Eves announced the plan to amend the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act to get a driver's license suspended if they are convicted of alcohol use while driving a boat.

After this announcement, the Liberal assembly passed out a news release that said:

“In 1998 Conservative MPP Bill Grimmett introduced legislation that would suspend licenses of people convicted of boating while drunk. Ontario Liberals voted in favour of this legislation and it passed unanimously in the legislature on 2nd Reading. But the Harris/Eves Conservatives refused to call the legislation for final reading and it died on the Order Paper.” 

Crompton decided to take action. In a fax to Attorney General David Zimmer, he argued the reasons why the legislation had to be passed quickly and what the effects were.

The legislation would ideally deal with three important needs:

  • Firstly, the implementation of the 12-hour suspension that is now in force under the Highway Traffic Act;

  • Secondly, post conviction, the suspension of driver's license would be for one year

  • Thirdly, administrative driver's license suspension would apply to boating and, as a result, there would be an automatic 90-day suspension.

Jeff and Pete
Jeff and Pete on a skiing trip
Facts About Alcohol and Boating
“In 2003 we had seven fatalities that were alcohol related and over 1,200 alcohol-related charges, a direct result of people driving boats under the influence of alcohol” said the Honourable Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services said in answer to a question in the House.

Crompton said in his fax “on a yearly basis there are upwards of 30 or more deaths on the water. Of these, something in the order of 33% to 40% involve alcohol…the use of alcohol while boating is more dangerous than drinking and driving a car.”

Pete
Pete loved to laugh

 

A Tragic Event
Pete
Pete Crompton

After his son died in a boating accident, Ken Crompton went looking for answers as to why he lost Pete.

Pete Crompton was just 27 and by all accounts, an amazing young man. A dedicated athlete, Pete loved to windsurf, surf, play golf, and competed nationally and internationally with the Ontario Ski Team.

Pete was killed in a boating accident on Lake Joseph on July 13, 2003. He was a passenger in the stern of a boat when it was run over by a second boat.

The driver of the second boat was charged with eight offences, including criminal negligence causing death and impaired operation of a vessel causing death.

The police investigation said that the accused driver had been drinking alcohol and as a result, was a factor that led to Pete's death.

The Highway Traffic Act already has a provision in which a driver's license is suspended in the event that a snowmobiler is convicted of an impaired offence.

According to Ken Crompton, there have even been instances where a person has lost their driving privileges for failing to pay child support. What he wants to know is: why is there no provision that mentions impaired boat drivers?

Jeff and Pete
Jeff and Pete Crompton
A Tragic Event (Continued)
Pete
Pete was a dedicated athlete who loved to surf, ski, and play golf

“The attitudes with respect to the use of alcohol and boats are based on a belief by some that they have a right to get in their boat and drink. The abusers of alcohol view boating as recreation and the operation of an automobile as transportation” said Crompton in his fax.

If this legislation doesn't pass, it can cost Canadian taxpayers a lot of money. “Many of the incidents involving the abuse of alcohol on the water result in lengthy police investigations followed by lengthy court proceedings” said Crompton.

There are also the costs of medical treatment for people hurt in boat accidents. Pete's friend was seriously injured by the propeller of the boat. He had lengthy hospital and rehabilitation stays in two hospitals and even though it is almost a year after the accident, he is still getting physiotherapy.

 “There is, therefore, a significant cost to the Ministry of Health, to say nothing of the human toll and the loss of productivity caused by abuse of alcohol on Ontario's lakes and rivers” said Crompton.

“The proposed amendments are too important to be defeated by a single vote…the failure to pass the legislation at an earlier date has undoubtedly resulted in unnecessary deaths and injuries” said Crompton.

This legislation is long overdue, and had it had been applied earlier, Pete's death could have been prevented. If it passes, the new legislation can prevent other pointless water-related deaths