“Up to four people a day are killed by impaired driving so it’s a national epidemic and we need to be talking about it,” said Dawn Regan the Chief Operating Officer of MADD Canada.
In a packed Fredericton school auditorium, MADD Canada hosted an assembly called “Over the Edge” to educate students about the risks of drinking and driving.
To illustrate the dangers of impaired driving and to get the kids talking about how to prevent it, MADD Canada screened a powerful short film. Some parts of the film, including a fatal car crash scene, caused a few students to leave the gym.
“I struggle with that message because I know it’s so valuable and important and I do know it’s going to impact each child a little bit differently, so we do put supports in place when a child get very emotional from the message,” said Patty Oxford the Devon Middle School Principal.
According to MADD Canada, road crashes are the number one cause of death among Canadian youth and alcohol and drugs were involved in more than half of those crashes.
“It’s really important to talk to kids at this age group because they are just being introduced to alcohol and drugs.”
“We want them to think about what they can do to make a difference with impaired driving and plan ahead so they don’t find themselves in a situation where they don’t know what to do and they make the wrong choice,” said Regan.
A 2017 Health Canada survey states that on average, students tried their first alcoholic drink at the age of 13 and tried cannabis for the first time at 14.
“I just know I won’t ever do it,” said Max Hay, a student at Devon Middle School.
“I learned not to drive impaired I also learned not to get in the car and take the keys away from the person that wants to drive impaired.”
“Check to make sure that you always have someone that can drive you home or a friend, like if you’re at a party, and if not just don’t drink and save your own life and someone else’s life,” said student Mya McAllister.
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