SOURCE: MADD Canada

MADD Canada

April 06, 2017 09:30 ET

MADD Canada, SGI and SLGA Show Saskatchewan Students How Impaired Driving Ruins Lives In The Blink Of An Eye

REGINA, SK--(Marketwired - April 06, 2017) - A dynamic new education program produced by MADD Canada and sponsored by Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is showing students how impaired driving can change someone's world in the blink of an eye.

MADD Canada's 2016-2017 School Assembly Program, titled In the Blink of an Eye, is being delivered to Saskatchewan students in Grades 7 - 12 this month. MADD Canada, SGI and SLGA are hosting a special screening for students and staff at Thom Collegiate in Regina today.

In the Blink of an Eye tells the story of best friends Gabby and Sarah. One night, as the girls prepare to go to a party, they are joined by Sarah's boyfriend Dylan, and his friend Asif. Sarah drinks and smokes pot with Dylan and Asif, while Gabby declines. Dylan, anxious to get to the party, decides to drive rather than wait for a cab. His friends strongly object and refuse to get in the car. A very upset Sarah calls 911 to report Dylan, while Asif walks Gabby home. Even though Gabby, Asif and Sarah all do the right thing, a tragic twist of fate ends a friendship abruptly and ruins many lives. And it all happens in the blink of an eye.

"Young people are dramatically over-represented in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs," said MADD Canada National President Patricia Hynes-Coates. "Through this powerful program, we are connecting with students, helping them truly understand the consequences of impaired driving and empowering them to make safe and responsible choices to protect themselves and one another."

As long-time provincial sponsors of MADD Canada's School Assembly Program, SGI and SLGA have been instrumental in sharing the sober driving message with students across the province. This year, SGI and SLGA are respectively sponsoring 24 and 35 presentations at schools throughout Saskatchewan.

"Impaired driving continues to be the number one reason people are dying on Saskatchewan roads, and it's just so easy to prevent those deaths," said SGI Executive Vice-President Earl Cameron. "The simplest thing to do is plan ahead -- choose your designated driver or plan your safe ride home before you head out. That way you're not making bad decisions later, when you may be under the influence. It's also important to remember that stronger laws came into effect Jan. 1, with zero drug or alcohol tolerance for drivers age 21 and under. Penalties are harsher, and there's also more enforcement to catch impaired drivers."

In addition to the fictional storyline in In the Blink of an Eye, 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:

  • Dean "DJ" Hancock
    DJ Hancock was on his way home from a hockey tryout when his car was struck head-on by an impaired driver who crossed the centre line. DJ's parents arrived on the scene minutes later. He was breathing when his parents got there, but died as he was lifted from the mangled car.
  • Jackie Dionne
    Jackie and Kevin Clements were passengers in a car driven by a friend who was impaired by alcohol and drugs. The impaired driver lost control and crashed into a ditch. The driver and another passenger were treated for injuries and released. Jackie was killed instantly and Kevin died the next day. Jackie had a toddler son, Jayden.
  • Mackenzie Fragoso
    Mackenzie was riding in a car with her dad, David Fragoso, and step-mother, Charlotte Patterson, when they were hit head-on by an impaired driver who crossed the centre line. David and Charlotte were killed. Seriously injured, 12-year-old Mackenzie was pulled from the burning vehicle seconds before it exploded.

To see a clip from In the Blink of an Eye, please visit our School Assembly Program page in the Youth Services section on the MADD Canada web site at www.madd.ca.

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 a similar presentation the following year.

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 is the traffic safety advocate for the province and the administrator of the Traffic Safety Act. Visit: 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. Visit: www.slga.com.

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.

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