OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 21, 2012) - Kia Canada Inc. is putting MADD Canada in the driver's seat, thanks to generous sponsorship of a program that will educate more than 1 million students about the dangers of impaired driving over the coming school year.
To highlight the partnership, MADD Canada is pleased to join Kia Canada Inc. for its second annual Drive Change Day on August 21. For more information about Kia Canada Inc.'s Drive Change initiative, visit www.DriveChangeWithKia.ca.
Now in the second of a three-year commitment as the Presenting Sponsor of the School Assembly Program, Kia Canada Inc. donates the use of 10 vehicles to MADD Canada. Five Kia Sedonas are used by the field representatives who deliver the program to schools across the country. The remaining five Kia Souls are used by Chapters across the country to promote local activities and events. All vehicles are adorned with MADD Canada's logo and messaging. The attention-grabbing vehicles have been a great tool for raising public awareness of MADD Canada and the need to stop impaired driving.
"Kia Canada Inc. truly is driving change," said MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk. "With Kia's assistance, we are delivering our important message to more than 1 million students across this country, helping them to understand the dangers of impaired driving and reinforcing the need to always drive sober. It's a message that will save lives."
Teens and young adults are at particularly high risk for impaired driving. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15 to 25 year olds, and alcohol is a factor in close to 50 per cent of those crashes. The combination of drugs and driving is also a major concern; Canadian youth between the ages of 14 and 25 have one of the highest rates of cannabis use in the world.
"This continual partnership solidifies another initiative of how Kia Canada is giving back to our local communities in the spirit of Drive Change," said Maria Soklis, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer (COO), Kia Canada Inc. "Our partnership with MADD Canada's School Assembly Program and the effort to reduce impaired driving among youth is a very important way that we can help improve our communities for everyone."
Delivered to Canadian schools since 1994, MADD Canada's School Assembly Program presents students with solid information and best practices to help them understand the issue of impaired driving from alcohol and drugs. A new show is produced each year to reach out to young people and talk about a variety of issues and misperceptions that they and their peers may be dealing with, including: binge drinking; realities about impairment caused by smoking cannabis; mixing cannabis and alcohol; and accepting rides from alcohol and drug impaired drivers.
In the 2012-2013 program, called Long Weekend, viewers join Brian, his brother Malcolm, girlfriend Jessica and best friend Raj on a trip to the cottage. The friends are drinking, smoking marijuana and making increasingly risky decisions. The weekend takes a horrific turn when an impaired Brian drives into town with Jessica. The fictional story is followed by the true stories of three families who faced the real-life nightmare of losing loved ones to impaired driving crashes. Their powerful and emotional stories bring the message home to students that impaired driving carries very real and very tragic consequences.
Long Weekend, and the French show, Dommages, will begin a cross-country tour of schools in September and will be seen by approximately 1 million students throughout the 2012-2013 school year. For a preview of the shows, visit www.madd.ca.
About Kia Canada Inc.
Kia Canada Inc. (www.kia.ca - www.facebook.com/kiacanada) -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) in Korea was founded in 1999 and sells and services high quality class leading vehicles like the Soul, Forte, Optima and Sorento through a network of 176 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 163 people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices across Canada. Kia's brand slogan -- "The Power to Surprise" -- represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting & inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.
About MADD Canada
MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads.