The Red Deer & District chapter of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, has been showing Shattered, a new video about the dangers of impaired driving at high schools in Red Deer, Delburne and Stettler.
Aleta Neville, president of the local MADD chapter, who attended several of the screenings, says, “This video shows students the realities of drunk driving. Once it starts, it goes silent in the room. It makes them realize that these stories are preventable and how easily one wrong decision can change their lives, and other people’s lives, forever.”
The video opens with a car racing down the road.
Recklessly passing traffic, it narrowly avoids an oncoming vehicle before swinging back into the proper lane. Then the driver loses control, the car flips and crashes into a guardrail.
Flashbacks to earlier in the night introduce viewers to several groups of students enjoying a typical Saturday evening. They don’t realize how their actions that night will have life-altering consequences. Their stories are powerful and emotional and connect with the students because the victims are the same age.
“We don’t want to lose our youth,” says Neville. “I think it helps to show them the hard facts and consequences of impaired driving and the importance of making safe choices.”
The statistics are appalling. Teenagers between 16 and 19 are 15 times more likely to die per kilometer driven than their parents. Car crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 25-year-olds and alcohol is a factor in 45% of those crashes.
On average four people die every day in Canada and 200 are injured as a result of impaired driving crashes and one in three victims are under the age of 25.
Neville knows first hand about losses because of impaired driving, losing her 21-year-old son Brent in 2006.
“We are members of a club that no one wants to belong to,” says Neville. “There’s no word for it. You’re left with a hole in your heart. It can happen to anyone because impaired drivers don’t pick their victims.”
The Alberta Traffic Safety Fund covered the full cost of showing Shattered at 17 schools in Alberta. Over the course of the school year it’s expected the video will be seen by a million students across the country.
For more information visit www.madd.ca