Oakville, Ontario – GM Canada and CAMI Assembly are joining MADD Canada’s efforts to protect young people from impaired driving by sponsoring presentations of SmartWheels and the School Assembly Program in western Ontario.

The School Assembly Program, MADD Canada’s largest youth education program, delivers education and awareness to hundreds of thousands of Canadian students in Grades 7 – 12 each year. It features a combination of fictional scenarios and the personal experiences of real-life victims of impaired driving to help young people understand the dangers, and motivate them to make safe choices to protect themselves and their peers.

SmartWheels is a 42-foot recreational vehicle that has been specially-outfitted with a large projection screen, individual tablets and virtual reality goggles. Students in Grades 4 – 6 board SmartWheels to participate in a fully-interactive learning experience, including videos about the effects of alcohol and drugs, and simulations on how it looks and feels to drive while impaired. The program educates students about the risks of alcohol, drugs and driving, and provides them with safety strategies, long before they will need to make decisions about such things.

“MADD Canada could not produce and deliver these powerful and effective education programs without the support of our partners and sponsors,” said MADD Canada Chief Operating Officer Dawn Regan. “We are very pleased to welcome GM Canada and CAMI Assembly to the team that is working to prevent impaired driving and protect youth.”

The new partnership was highlighted today with a special presentation of the SmartWheels program to students Preston Public School in Cambridge.

“We are proud to support these outstanding programs to educate young people about the risks of impaired driving and equip them with the knowledge and confidence to make safe, responsible decisions,” said Barry Vickery, CAMI Assembly Communications Manager.

Impaired driving takes a disproportionate toll among young Canadians: traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among 16-25-year olds with approximately 55% of fatal crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs. Further, studies show that the use of alcohol and cannabis starts as early as age 11 and that use increases steadily between grades 7 and 9.

MADD Canada’s youth education efforts seek to inform youth and encourage them to make positive, responsible decisions, ultimately resulting in fewer deaths and injuries among our youngest and most vulnerable roads users. With these two programs, MADD Canada can now provide powerful and ongoing education about the risks and consequences of alcohol, drugs and impaired driving to students from Grade 4 all the way through to Grade 12.

“With the support of sponsors such as GM Canada and CAMI Assembly, we are able to deliver these important programs which introduce the sober driving message to students early and revisit it often throughout their school years,” Ms. Regan said.

For more information:

Dawn Regan, MADD Canada Chief Operating Officer, 905-330-7565 or dregan@madd.ca