MADD Canada

MADD Canada

September 13, 2005 10:38 ET

Toronto students moved with premiere showing of Truth

MADD Canada and GM take show on cross country tour of high schools Attention: Automotive Editor, Education Editor, Lifestyle Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 13, 2005) - Toronto students got the first look at a new multi-media assembly show that is about to rock teens with the realities of alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. MADD Canada's Truth premiered at De La Salle College today and the production is anticipated to be shown to half a million students across the country in the next eight months.

For Mothers Against Drunk Driving, young Canadians and alcohol, drugs and driving - is a disturbing mixture with potential tragedies that are 100% preventable.

Canadian statistics for alcohol- and drug-impaired driving are alarming: One in every eight deaths and injuries in road crashes is a teenager. Tragically, road crashes are the number one cause of death of youth age 15 to 19 in Canada - and alcohol is involved in 40% of the time. Recent statistics tell us the two out of five people who die in crashes involving alcohol are 25 years of age and under.

Karen Dunham, MADD Canada's National President winces at these statistics. "We want to reverse these trends and to reduce the life loss and injuries sustained by Canadian youth in impaired driving crashes. We will do so by taking our important impaired driving message directly into high schools, and presenting our case through moving and powerful multimedia assembly shows."

"The social costs, human tragedy and productive years of life lost among youth from road crashes are significant and preventable," says Mrs. Dunham. "Truth effectively brings these realities to the screen and makes a powerful comment for teenagers to consider."

MADD Canada and General Motors of Canada going on the road

Mrs. Dunham is excited about the production's upcoming tour. "With the support of General Motors of Canada, we will be taking this assembly show to more young Canadians than ever before - more than 500,000 students will see Truth. Our partnership with GM will go a long way to educating the next generation of drivers about safe and sober driving habits and making the right choices."

David Paterson, Vice President, Corporate and Environmental Affairs - General Motors of Canada was present to talk to students before the screening. "At GM we believe in the critical work MADD Canada is doing to educate youth and save lives. Safety is our top priority at GM, in the way we work and in the way we build vehicles with features such as OnStar. By partnering with MADD Canada and sponsoring Truth, together we hope to reach as many students as possible with this very impactful production."

MADD Canada's high school multi-media assembly shows are a key element of its youth services education and awareness initiatives, offered through Canadian schools and public events. Mrs. Dunham explains, "Teenagers can have inaccurate perceptions or false impressions that lead to high-risk behaviours and deadly consequences. We hope that our productions encourage youth to take a close look at their values and perceptions, revealing common harmful beliefs amongst teenagers."

Truth exposes false perceptions about drugs, alcohol and driving. Through stories and interviews that show real-life consequences, the show inspires youth to become leaders and promotes positive choices and healthy behaviours. The production features two of Canada's most prominent artists Raine Maida from Our Lady Peace and Chantal Kreviazuk as the narrators.

Alcohol- and drug-impaired driving and Canadians

A 2001 Student Drug Use Survey by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that a sizeable proportion of adolescents are exposed to alcohol- and drug-related driving risks. 31.9% of the students surveyed reported being a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver. Of the Canadian students in grades 10 to 13 who had a driver's license, 15.1% reported driving within an hour after consuming 2 or more drinks and 19.7% reported driving within an hour after using cannabis.

Mrs. Dunham states, "With MADD Canada's commitment to continuously developing new video productions to address the evolving issues of impaired driving, our hope is that we'll make an indelible impression on young Canadians - and they will not become an impaired driving statistic."

Previous assembly shows produced by MADD Canada have proven to be an effective method for preventing high-risk behaviour amongst youth. After seeing the program, exit surveys indicate that 84.4% of youth said they were less likely to drink and drive and 79.3% said they were less likely to ride with a drinking driver.

A drug-impaired driving focus

Truth also factors into MADD Canada's recently launched drug-impaired driving awareness campaign. The organization cites disturbing trends with high school students and their drug use and driving habits. In a recent Canadian survey (2003) on drug use:

-- 20 % of high school drivers drove within one hour of using cannabis; and,
-- 23% of high schools students reported being a passenger in a vehicle driven by a someone who had been using drugs prior to driving.

Tour information available on-line

MADD Canada and General Motors of Canada are taking Truth on tour to high schools across Canada beginning immediately. For more information about the tour, the assembly show, and how to book the production, visit MADD Canada's website - www.madd.ca.

MADD Canada is the country's preeminent voice for impaired driving victims. The organization is a grassroots, volunteer driven group that is active in over 80 communities across Canada. Over 750,000 Canadians support through their annual donations MADD Canada's mission to stop impaired driving and to support the victims of this violent crime.

General Motors of Canada Limited is headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario and employs more than 20,000 people nationwide. GM of Canada manufactures a variety of vehicles, engines, transmissions and other components, and markets the full range of General Motors vehicles and related services through 785 dealerships and retailers across Canada. Vehicles sold through this network include Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Hummer, Saturn and Saab. GM has an overarching philosophy that includes its support of initiatives such as the Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey program, an ongoing effort to foster the values of respect and responsibility in young players and their parents. GM plays an active role in communities across the country with programs like GM Community Wheels, which offers a turnkey solution to the transportation needs of community agencies by providing them with GM vehicles. Saturn Kidspace is another program that assists communities in need of safe places for children to play. To date, more than 300 playgrounds have been built as part of this initiative. GM supports initiatives such as the Chevrolet Safe and Fun Hockey program, an ongoing effort to foster the values of respect and responsibility in young players and their parents. GM Canada has partnered with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and is sponsoring the 2005-2006 high-impact, multi-media assembly show entitled "Truth".
/For further information: View a preview of Truth at www.madd.ca

Dawn Regan, MADD Canada's National Office 1-800-665-6233, ext. 223
Diane Lehman, GM Canada's Community Relations (905) 644-3883
/ IN: AUTOMOTIVE, EDUCATION, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Karen Dunham, National President
    Primary Phone: 506-650-7473