by Bindu Suri
MADD Canada is using a bold new campaign in Calgary schools to send an important message not to drink or use drugs and drive. The organization has teamed up with local schools for a new assembly program called "The Pact."
"This is a powerful message and a good message. It's not preachy," MADD Calgary chapter president Karen Harrison said. "This is real life, these are the chances you can take and these are the people you can hurt."
The message is raw and graphic, encouraging students from Grades 7 to 12 to make a pact to keep each other safe.
"It puts a human face to the incident. They're looking in on themselves really. That's what's so impactful. This message is coming form kids their own age," Harrison said.
The end of the presentation includes real-life accounts of victims of impaired driving. It's a reminder that the fictional story represents real tragedies with consequences.
MADD Canada said both alcohol and drugs are involved in more than half of all road crashes. The organization deliberately included images of marijuana use, because the drug will soon becoming legal.
Harrison knows the video isn't easy to watch, but life after losing her brother to a drunk driver hasn't been easy either.
"It always feels like yesterday. Everyday I think of him.
"Kids need to stop being coddled around this message," added Harrison. "Our kids are dying on these roads."
Harrison wants young people to walk away with a lasting impression, and reconsider a decision that could easily could turn into lifelong regret.
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