MADD would rather instill some theatrical drama on teenagers than have them suffer through real-life pain and loss.
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is Canada's leading charitable agency devoted to stopping impaired driving. The group is bringing their hard-hitting play Smashed to local schools, driving home the devastating consequences of getting behind the wheel while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.
"Reaching teens and young adults with the sober driving message is one of our most important priorities," said Pam Herman, a MADD community leader in northern B.C. "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."
The play is fiction. It depicts a small group of friends caught up in regular teenaged life until small choices turn quickly into massive, life-altering incidents.
The play is followed by a video presentation that puts real faces and real impaired driving results to the impressions conjured up by the acting.
MADD bases their school tours on ongoing statistics that draw an alarming circle around young people. According to their research, nearly 50 per cent of all road crash deaths involving 15- to 24-year-olds are related to alcohol. In 2009, it killed approximately 350 Canadian youths and injured 41,000 more Canadian young people in vehicle crashes.
Also in 2009, 16- to 25-year-olds constituted less than 14 per cent of the population but accounted for more than 31 per cent of all alcohol-related crash deaths.
Smashed is scheduled to reach an audience of more than 1 million Canadian youths this school year. It comes to Kelly Road secondary school on Wednesday at 1:45 p.m., the Centre for Learning Alternatives at 9 a.m. on Thursday, and on November 1 there will be performances at D.P. Todd secondary school (8:30 a.m.) and PGSS (2 p.m.).
Parents are welcome to attend the performances as well.