MADD Canada delivering School Program to Saskatchewan students

MADD Prince Albert has installed this memorial bench along the Rotary Trail. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

Saskatchewan middle and high school students are seeing a powerful and emotional lesson on the impact of impaired driving and how they can prevent it, in a new video education program by MADD Canada.

With support from Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) and Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), MADD Canada is delivering its 2022-2023 School Program to thousands of students across the province.

“Young people are at increased risk for impaired driving,” MADD Canada National President Jaymie-Lyne Hancock said in a press release.

“Our School Program shows students the tragic outcomes that can happen when someone drives after alcohol, cannabis or other drug use, and equips them with the information and motivation to make safe choices to protect themselves and their peers.”

Road crashes are the number one cause of death among Canadian youth, and alcohol and/or drugs are involved in more than half of those crashes. Every year, MADD Canada produces a new School Program to educate students in Grades 7 – 12 about the risks of impaired driving, and to encourage them to never put themselves at risk by driving impaired or riding with an impaired driver.

As Provincial Sponsors of the School Program, SGI and SLGA are directly funding the delivery of 30 and 60 presentations respectively.

“It’s important that young people make responsible decisions when it comes to alcohol and cannabis use and that they understand the horrific consequences that often come when someone gets behind the wheel impaired,” Minister responsible for SLGA Lori Carr said.

“SLGA is proud to continue our partnership with MADD so that students across the province receive this important message.”

Final Play tells the story of teens Adam, Colin, Sarah and Katie. The four friends are playing baseball when Sarah invites Adam to a party that night after the game. The group decides to have some drinks at Adam’s house before the party since his mom and sister are out for a few hours. The group is drinking and Adam eventually agrees to try the cannabis that Katie has offered him. When Adam gets a text from his sister saying she and their Mom are on their way home, he rushes everyone to leave. Even though he is visibly impaired, Adam tells Sarah he is okay to drive – a decision that changes all their lives forever.

Following the fictional portion of the show, students see the personal stories of Holly Burton, Robin Croteau and Kylee Wallace, who are all young real-life victims of impaired driving,

MADD Canada’s School Program, which will be presented to hundreds of thousands of students across the country, is available in the traditional assembly format, as well as classroom or virtual formats, depending on each school’s preference.

Following the presentations, school receive an Educators’ Guide to help teachers continue the sober driving conversation all year long.

“While Saskatchewan has made significant progress over the past decade, impaired driving is still the leading cause of collision fatalities on our roads, and the largest proportion of impaired drivers are those aged 19 to 24,” Minister Responsible for SGI Don Morgan said.

“SGI is pleased to continue supporting MADD in their efforts to teach an important lesson about how making safe-driving decisions can save lives.”