A motorist gets off with a 'Second Chance' warning thanks to her license showing she is an organ donor.(Donate Life California)

Organ donor? No traffic ticket

It’s called “second chance”. Police in Calgary Alberta have joined with other forces in California in a programme to encourage organ donation.

Instead of a costly ticket for offences like an illegal U-turn, or a parking violation or others at the officer’s discretion, if the person’s licence shows they’ve signed as an organ donor, they’ll only get a warning, a second chance.  The concept is based on the fact that having signed as an organ donor  the person could give someone else a second chance at life.

During the April campaign officers can choose to give a warning only for minor traffic offences and write out a “second chance” ticket warning instead of a real ticker, especially if drivers have registered as organ donors (CNW-Second Chance)

Occasionally, and again at the officer’s discretion, violators were given a “second chance ticket” even if they haven’t signed but were encouraged to do so and directed to the second chance website

The campaign in Canada is in collaboration with the Canadian Transplant Association, a national non-profit group that raises awareness about organ donation and offers a support network for donors and recipients.

An example of an Alberta driver’s licence showing they have registered as an organ donor with the heart symbol and “donor” at the bottom ( Gov’t of Alberta)

According to Organ Donor Project Canada:

  • -About 4,500 men, women and children are currently waiting for an organ transplant in Canada;
  • -Every year, 260 of those people will die before receiving a transplant. That means five deaths per week could have been saved with viable donors;
  • -Donation rates in Canada are far too low. Only 20.9 donors are available for every one million Canadian citizens, which puts Canada well below many other Western nations, including Spain (43.4) and the U.S. (31);
  • -While about 90 per cent of Canadians support organ and tissue donation, fewer than 20 per cent have made plans to donate; and
  • -One organ donor can save up to eight lives and a tissue donor can benefit up to 75 individuals.

The second chance campaign runs throughout April during which several organ donation campaigns are organised across Canada.

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