The Abbotsford chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is bringing a powerful message to Abbotsford students about the dangers of impaired driving in a program called The Pact.
The Pact shows students the risks and consequences of driving while drunk and/or high.
Every year, MADD Canada produces a new school assembly program for students in Grades 7 to 12.
Abneet Randhawa, community leader for the Abbotsford chapter of MADD, says road crashes are the number one cause of death among teens and young adults, and alcohol and/or drugs are involved in more than half of those crashes.
“This year’s program encourages students to make a pact now – rather than after a tragedy strikes – to keep themselves and their friends safe from impaired driving,” Randhawa said.
The Pact tells the story of Zoe, who is at a new school and struggling to fit in. After landing in detention for skipping class, she meets James, Charli, Nisha and Will.
When they invite her to a party, Zoe is happy that she is finally making friends. At the party, Nisha has too much to drink. Charli is sober and can drive her home, but is worried about leaving Zoe behind.
James offers to drive Zoe. Even though James has been smoking pot, Zoe convinces herself and her friends that all will be fine because he wasn’t drinking.
When the car crashes, the whole group of friends is changed forever. Devastated by the tragedy but hoping to build something positive, the friends form a special pact.
MADD Abbotsford raises funds throughout the year to offer the program to as many schools as possible.
“We know how impactful this presentation is to our youth,” Randhawa said. “Each year, MADD Canada develops a new presentation so we can go to a school each year with a new presentation and messaging.”
In addition to the fictional storyline in The Pact, the presentation also features emotional real-life accounts of victims of impaired driving.