Oakville, Ontario — Tomorrow is never guaranteed, especially if you take the risk of driving after drinking or doing drugs. That’s the hard-hitting message MADD Canada is delivering to students across the country with its new School Assembly Program.
Titled No Tomorrow, the 45-minute program explores how mixing alcohol and/or drugs with driving can have devastating and permanent consequences.
“One choice, one split-second decision, and your life can change forever,” said MADD Canada National President Patricia Hynes-Coates. “We want students to understand how driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs can impact their lives. We want to motivate them to always make the right decision, and protect themselves and their friends from impaired driving.”
Impaired driving takes a disproportionate toll on young people. Traffic crashes are the largest single cause of death among 16-25 year olds, and more than 50% of those crashes involve alcohol and/or drugs. MADD Canada produces a new School Assembly Program each year to educate students in Grades 7 – 12 about the risks of impaired driving. These education efforts take on added urgency with recreational cannabis sales beginning in October.
Road and other crash deaths were the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 16 and 25 years in 2014, and we estimate more than half of those crashes involved alcohol and/or drugs. MADD Canada and its National Sponsors, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada and RTL-Westcan Group of Companies, host a special screening of No Tomorrow today at Westmount School in Edmonton to launch the program’s tour of schools across Canada.
“Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is proud to team up with MADD Canada to create a safe space for an open dialogue with students about this very important topic,” said Allstate Insurance Company of Canada President and CEO, Ryan Michel. “With realistic scenarios and powerful imagery, this program will resonate with young people, get them thinking about their own choices, and inspire them to protect their own tomorrows.”
“Our company has drivers out on the road every single day, so road safety is naturally a top priority for us,” said Grant Mitchell, Chief Operating Officer of the Kenan Advantage Group, RTL-Westcan’s parent company. “This type of education effort is very important to us and we are proud to support it. Encouraging young
people to establish safe and sober driving habits now is something that will help protect them and improve road safety for everyone.”
No Tomorrow tells the story of bandmates Marcus, Corey, Trevor and Lee. After winning a contest to record a demo, they get an incredible chance to audition for a music school. Before their audition, Trevor has a few drinks. He is affected more than he thinks, and makes mistakes during the audition. Marcus is offered a spot at the school right away, and Corey and Lee are given an opportunity to re-apply next year. But Trevor, who was obviously impaired during the audition, is not offered a spot or chance to re-apply. The school has a zero tolerance policy for alcohol or drugs. Trevor storms off to the car. Marcus tries unsuccessfully to take the keys. Realizing he can’t stop Trevor from driving away, Marcus jumps in the car. What happens next changes all of their lives forever.
The fictional story in No Tomorrow is followed by testimonials from real-life victims who talk about their loved ones who were killed or seriously and permanently injured in impaired driving crashes.
A clip of the new program is available on the page on MADD Canada’s web site.
The formal presentation is supplemented by an Educators’ Guide to help teachers and counsellors continue the crucial sober driving conversation. With the help of generous sponsors, No Tomorrow will be delivered to over 2,000 schools and approximately 1 million students in Grades 7 – 12 over the current school year.
Student surveys show that MADD Canada’s efforts to reach young people with the sober driving message 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.
For more information, please contact:
Patricia Hynes-Coates, MADD Canada National President, 647-919-6233, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna Weigt-Bienzle, Senior Communications Specialist, Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, 905-475-4527 or email@example.com.
Stephanie Theede, Vice President, Human Resources, RTL-Westcan Group of Companies, 780-406-8972
Note to Assignment Editors:
For information on when No Tomorrow is visiting your area, please contact Deb Kelly, MADD Canada Communications Manager, at 1-800-665-6233, ext. 240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.