Collision deaths are the number 1 cause of teen deaths in Canada, a statistic graphically presented to 100 Mile House Junior Secondary students who recently watched a Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) Damages presentation.
South Cariboo Rural Crime Watch (RCW) member Jon McCormick was present for the presentation that included a film depicting the tragic result of an impaired-driving incident involving youth.
“The film itself was very passionate with quality acting, expressing realistic teen behaviour, language and demeanour,” McCormick says.
The crash scene was of significant importance to the overall presentation, clearly showing the viewer how easily a driver can be distracted and lose control, he adds.
Some students appeared shocked and a few left the classroom, but all likely learned something about the ramifications for impaired driving, McCormick notes.
In the film, a tragic death resulted when a girl not wearing a seat belt was tossed from the vehicle, he explains.
Dawn Regan, MADD director of public awareness and partnership campaigns, says the program provides students solid information and best practices to help them understand the issues of impaired driving from alcohol and drugs.
The ramifications of consuming alcohol combined with marijuana use was the key factor in the accident portrayal, Regan says, adding some students don’t think cannabis use affects driving skills, but that isn’t the case.
“We talk about the realities of mixing cannabis and alcohol and accepting rides from people who are impaired.
“Young females are over-represented in impaired driving crashes, not as drivers, but as passengers, because they’ll go into a car with an impaired driver, as opposed to them driving themselves at that young age.”
She explains that youth drivers account for 33 per cent of alcohol-related collision deaths.
“It’s the number 1 cause of teen deaths in Canada, and about 50 per cent of the road crashes involving teens are alcohol related.”
McCormick adds RCW will promote the MADD Red Ribbon Campaign beginning Dec. 1 with a display in Cariboo Mall featuring a large poster of a man behind bars.
Red ribbons will be available at the display, as well as in the mall’s BC Liquor Store, where donations for MADD will also be collected.
He encourages schools to place a poster in the main hall with an enlarged image of a vehicle accident, emblazoned with “I pledge not to drink and drive.”
Students can sign their names on it anytime, and just before Christmas, place a MADD red ribbon over their signature, he adds.
For more information on MADD and its youth programs, visit www.madd.ca.