MADD Canada

MADD Canada

October 02, 2012 15:00 ET

Realistic Scenarios, Moving Personal Stories Dominate MADD Canada's New Program To Educate Students About Risks of Impaired Driving

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 2, 2012) - With a realistic story line in which most young people could imagine themselves, and personal stories showing the heartache and grief caused by impaired driving, MADD Canada's 2012-2013 School Assembly Program challenges students to consider their perceptions and choices when it comes to mixing alcohol and/or drugs with driving.

"Reaching teens and young adults with the sober driving message is one of our most important priorities," said MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk. "Each year, MADD Canada produces a new School Assembly Program designed to get students thinking about the risks of impaired driving and make them understand that tragedy occurs when people make wrong choices."

Impaired driving takes a huge toll on Canadian youth. Nearly 50 per cent of all road crash deaths involving 15 to 24 year olds are alcohol-related. In 2009, approximately 350 young people were killed and 41,000 were injured in impairment-related crashes. Also in 2009, 16-25 year olds constituted just 13.7 per cent of the population, but accounted for nearly 31.1 per cent of all alcohol-related crash deaths.

MADD Canada and the program's National Sponsor, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, brought the 2012-2013 show, Long Weekend, to Red Deer today for a special screening at River Glen School to promote the program's national tour to schools across the country. Over the course of the school year, Long Weekend will reach more than 1 million Canadian students.

Long Weekend opens with Brian, his brother Malcolm, girlfriend Jessica and best friend Raj on a trip to the cottage. The four youths drink, smoke pot and make increasingly risky decisions. The weekend takes a horrific turn when an impaired Brian attempts to drive into town with Jessica.

The fictional story is then followed by emotional and moving real-life stories of four people who were killed in impaired driving crashes:

  • In a scenario that is probably very familiar to students who will see the show, 16-year-old Katelynn Porter accepted a ride from someone she thought she could trust. But the 17-year-old driver was impaired and crashed the car.

  • Parents of five, Brad and Krista Howe were on their way home from an evening out when their car was struck by an impaired driver. They were just eight blocks from home.

  • Grandmother Donna Kennie, whose car was struck head-on by an impaired driver. She and her grandson Jordan were on their way back from the grocery store after picking up supplies for a family camp-out.

The School Assembly Program has been a cornerstone of MADD Canada's youth services since 1994. More than one million students will see Long Weekend, and the French language program called Dommages, across Canada during the 2012-2013 school year, thanks in part to the generosity of program sponsor Allstate Canada.

"In our industry, we see loss of life, injury and damage caused by impaired driving all too often," said John O'Donnell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Allstate Canada. "We are proud to partner with MADD Canada to help bring this important show to students and provide them with the knowledge and motivation to always make safe and sober driving choices, as both drivers and passengers."

MADD Canada is pleased to recognize Allstate Canada for its 25 years of support.

"From its support of so many of our programs, publications and awareness initiatives to involvement at the community level, where so many Allstate agents volunteer with their local Chapters and Community Leaders, Allstate Canada has been one of our most extraordinary partners in our work to end impaired driving," Ms. Dubyk said.

25 Years of Partnership

This year, MADD Canada and Allstate Insurance Company of Canada celebrate 25 years of partnership in the effort to stop impaired driving. Allstate Canada has been the lead sponsor on all MADD Canada programs at various times over those years, and has also been a supporting partner in the publication of numerous statistical, research and liability reports. Currently, Allstate Canada is the National Sponsor of the 2012-2013 School Assembly Program, Title Sponsor of Project Red Ribbon and Official Sponsor of Campaign 911.

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. For more information, visit www.madd.ca.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of Canada's leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products. "The Good Hands Network®" enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 91 community-based Agencies, directly online at www.allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-Allstate. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), Crime Stoppers, United Way and Junior Achievement. In 2010, Allstate Canada, in partnership with the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), created the Allstate All-Canadians program, a mentorship program designed to guide the next generation of Canada's hockey youth. Learn more about this program at www.allcanadians.com. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.goodhandsadvice.ca or www.allstate.ca.

Contact Information

  • MADD Canada
    Denise Dubyk
    National President
    403-970-8733

    Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
    Kevin Wilson
    Media Relations
    905-475-4536