ICBC reaches out to youth in the Thompson Nicola region ahead of coming grad season

  • May. 7, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Grad season is typically a dangerous time for young drivers and passengers – on average, 1,300 youth are injured and nine are killed during the months of May and June in B.C. every year.* The reality is that crashes remain the number one preventable cause of death for youth in B.C.

That’s why ICBC’s road safety speaker tour will bring Kevin Brooks to the Thompson Nicola region of the province from May 5 – 17 to share his story with local high school students to help raise awareness about the power of choice.

From his wheelchair, Kevin shares the story of the night that changed his life. What started as a booze-fuelled Saturday night quickly turned tragic with a poor choice. Kevin left a party, driving at excessive speeds after consuming large amounts of alcohol. He wasn’t alone.  Beside him sat his passenger and childhood friend Brendon. The result – a horrific crash.  Brendon didn’t walk away. Neither did Kevin.

“ICBC road safety speakers educate teens about safe driving and the importance of making good choices,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The reality is that unsafe speed and impaired driving are the top reasons why young people are dying in crashes today – and they are preventable. Kevin will share his personal story about the pain that families experience and encourage students to make smart choices.”

“Our speakers are able to connect with teens and we know their stories make an impact,” said Fiona Temple, ICBC’s director of road safety. “Countless students have told us and our speakers that they’ve made smarter decisions after hearing one of our speakers.”

ICBC’s road safety speakers have been sharing their personal, heart-wrenching stories with students for more than 15 years. In 2010, over 8,500 students listened to a road safety speaker at one of 32 high school presentations throughout the southern interior region. The speakers’ presentations hit home hard with powerful messages that motivate young people to think twice before taking risks while driving.

ICBC is committed to working with youth, parents, educators and community groups to help reduce crashes, identify the risks of the road and provide young drivers with strong decision-making skills.

For more information and helpful tips on road safety, visit icbc.com.

* Statistics are based on 2005 to 2009 ICBC and police data. Youth are defined as age 16 to 21 and include drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Submitted