OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 4, 2014) - Saskatchewan students will see the tragic results of "getting smashed" as MADD Canada's 2013-2014 School Assembly Program begins its tour of schools throughout the province.
Emotional and realistic, MADD Canada's new program, called Smashed, demonstrates just how easily and quickly a night of partying can turn to tragedy when someone makes the wrong decision. MADD Canada and provincial sponsors Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) are highlighting the program's tour throughout the province with a special screening for students and staff at Scott Collegiate. Thanks to the support of SGI and SLGA, Smashed will be delivered to Grade 7 - 12 students at 35 schools throughout the province at no charge to the schools.
Smashed shows how characters Natalie, Pete and Kelly ditch a school dance to go to a house party with Johnny. Once there, Natalie starts drinking. When Johnny, who has also been drinking, leaves the party to get pot, a drunken Natalie makes the terrible decision to go with him. Kelly and Pete do everything they can to stop Natalie from getting in the car but she won't listen. Kelly calls 911 and then she and Pete get in her car to follow their friend. What happens next is a nightmare that none of the young friends could ever have dreamed. The fictional story is then followed by real-life stories of three people who are victims of impaired driving.
"The program gives young people a realistic scenario which they could easily picture themselves in, and encourages them to think about what decisions they would make," said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. "It shows how one person's decision can have catastrophic results, and asks students to make a commitment to never drive impaired and never ride with an impaired driver."
Teens and young adults are over-represented in impaired driving crashes. Youth between 16 and 25 years old represented just 13.7 per cent of the population in 2009 but they accounted for nearly a third (31.1 per cent) of all alcohol-related road crash deaths. MADD Canada's School Assembly Program gets young people thinking about the dangers of impaired driving and reinforces the fact that every single death and injury caused by impaired driving is preventable.
"We are committed to working with MADD Canada to ensure this life-saving education program reaches young people across the province," said the Honourable Donna Harpauer, Minister Responsible for SGI and SLGA. "As the show powerfully illustrates, driving impaired is never worth the risk. That's a crucial message we want our students to always remember."
Following the fictional story of Natalie, Pete and Kelly, students see the compelling stories of three real-life victims of impaired driving:
- Arsh Brar was just 20 years old when he was killed in a crash involving a driver who had spent the previous several hours drinking at a bar. Arsh's brother shares how the unimaginable loss has affected his family.
- Keisha Trudel was riding in a car driven by a young man who had been drinking. The driver crashed and 16-year-old Keisha was killed. Her mom talks about the devastation the family has suffered.
- Riley Russell barely survived being hit by an alleged impaired driver. She relates the severe and permanent injuries she suffered, and talks about how one person's terrible decision has affected her hopes and dreams for the future.
The School Assembly Program has been a cornerstone of MADD Canada's youth services since 1994. The presentations are well-received by young people and positively impact their behaviour. In a 2012-2013 survey, students who saw the program were more likely to say it is not okay to drink any amount before driving; that marijuana use will make someone drive a lot worse; and that those who drive while impaired will face serious consequences. Equally important, the message is being retained. In a follow-up survey three months later, the anti-impaired driving attitudes expressed by students was at the same or higher levels than it was immediately following the presentation. Further, the follow-up survey showed a higher number of students who said they planned ahead before going to parties where drugs or alcohol may be present, compared to the national baseline survey. Students were also less likely to have recently accepted a ride from someone who was impaired.
Approximately one million students will see Smashed, and the French language program, Impact, across Canada in 2013-2014. For more information, or to check out a clip from Smashed, please visit our School Assembly Program page in our Youth Services section on the MADD Canada web site at www.madd.ca.
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/survivors, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. For more information, visit www.madd.ca.
About Saskatchewan Government Insurance
Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is the province's self-sustaining auto insurance fund. SGI operates 21 claims centres and five salvage centres across Saskatchewan with a head office in Regina. SGI also works with a network of over 400 motor licence issuers across the province. Customers can now do some transactions online. Look for the MySGI link under Online Services on your motor licence issuer's website or SGI's website at: www.sgi.sk.ca.
About the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority
The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is responsible for the distribution, control and regulation of liquor and most gaming across the province. Saskatchewan's retail liquor system includes 79 liquor stores, 185 rural franchises and a private liquor store in Regina. Visit: www.saskliquor.com.