PEI Students View MADD Canada’s Latest Anti-Impaired Driving Program
Prince Edward Island students will see the tragic consequences of impaired driving during a powerful new education program being presented by MADD Canada through funding from the Prince Edward Island Liquor Control Commission (PEILCC).
Road crashes are the number one cause of death among teens and young adults, and alcohol and/or drugs are involved in more than half of those crashes. MADD Canada produces a new School Assembly Program every year to educate students in Grades 7 – 12 about the dangers of impaired driving.
Together with the program’s Provincial Sponsor, PEILCC, MADD Canada is hosting a special screening of the 2017-2018 program, called The Pact, at Bluefield High School in Hampshire today.
“Our School Assembly Program gives students a realistic look at how easily tragedy can strike when someone drives impaired,” said MADD Canada National President Patricia Hynes-Coates. “It is an opportunity to start a dialogue with young people about the risks and consequences of impaired driving, and get them thinking about how they can protect themselves and their friends.”
The Pact tells the story of Zoe, who is at a new school and struggling to fit in. After landing in detention for skipping class, she meets James, Charli, Nisha and Will. When they invite her to a party, Zoe is happy that she is finally making friends. At the party, Nisha has too much to drink. Charli is sober and can drive her home, but is worried about leaving Zoe behind. James offers to drive Zoe. Even though James has been smoking pot, Zoe convinces herself and her friends that all will be fine because he wasn’t drinking. When the car crashes, the whole group of friends is changed forever. Devastated by the tragedy but hoping to build something positive, the friends form a special pact.
PEILCC, a long-time sponsor of the School Assembly Program, and is sponsoring more than 20 presentations of the program at PEI schools this year.
“Everyone has a role to play in road safety, and this program shows young people how they can make a real difference when it comes to preventing the tragedies caused by impaired driving,” said Heath MacDonald, Minister responsible for the PEILCC. “We are pleased to team with MADD Canada to deliver this life-saving messaging to schools around the province.”
In addition to the fictional storyline in The Pact, the presentation also features emotional real-life accounts of victims of impaired driving. In fact, it is the victim testimonials that have the most lasting impact on students.
This year’s program tells the stories of:
- Carol Grimmond – Carol and her twin brother, Colin, were travelling to their mother’s home when an impaired driver, going the wrong way on the highway, struck them head-on. Colin suffered minor injuries. Carol was seriously injured and airlifted to hospital where she died.
- Craig Watson – After a day at the lake, Craig and three high school friends piled into a van for the 5-minute drive to one of the friend’s cottages. All had been drinking and no one was wearing seat belts. The driver lost control of the vehicle. Craig was ejected from the passenger window and the van rolled over him, killing him.
- Maia Vezina – Maia and her mother Pat were hit head-on by an impaired driver. Pat suffered broken bones and internal injuries, was on life support for a time and required numerous surgeries. Maia broke both femurs, both ankles and both arms, her left knee, pelvis, right wrist, left clavicle, a rib and left cheekbone. Both women have had very long recoveries and still suffer the effects of their injuries.
For more information, or to view a clip from The Pact, please visit madd.ca/pages/programs/youth-services/school-programs/the-pact/ .
Evidence shows that MADD Canada’s strategies to reach young people are working. In a 2015-2016 survey of students who saw that year’s School Assembly Program, titled 24 Hours: 80% of respondents said the program was effective in delivering its message about not driving while impaired; two-thirds of respondents said the presentation will be effective in changing behaviours regarding impaired driving; and 97% of respondents supported seeing a similar presentation the following year.
MADD Canada thanks Provincial Sponsor, PEILCC, and National Sponsors, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada and RTL-Westcan Group of Companies, for their generous support of the School Assembly Program.
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