Grade 12s reminded of impaired driving dangers

NANAIMO – ICBC road safety speakers address high school students before the grad party season.

Spring is not only a beautiful time to take to the open road, it can be deadly as well.

On average, 220 youth are injured and one is killed in crashes during April, May and June every year on Vancouver Island.

ICBC road safety speakers Mike Buckingham and Kevin Brooks will be visiting Vancouver Island schools in April and May to connect with high school students as they head into the grad and prom party season.

Brooks, now in his 10th year as a Road Safety Speaker, has appeared at more than 1,000 high schools across North America.

As a teen, Brooks left a party, intoxicated and driving in excessive speeds. The ensuing crash, left him paralyzed and killed childhood friend, Brendon.

Buckingham is a retired Washington State Patrol trooper and former prosecutor.

Badly burned in an impaired driving crash, he’s been delivering his message to youth about the importance of traffic safety at schools across the U.S. and Canada for more than 25 years.

“It’s important that we do what we can to help B.C. youth understand the devastating impact one wrong decision could have on their lives and their families,” said Mary Polak, minister of transportation and infrastructure. “The reality is that car crashes are the No. 1 preventable cause of death for youth in B.C.

“ICBC’s road safety speakers help strengthen young people’s decision-making skills and teach them to think twice before taking risks behind the wheel.”

For the past 16 years, ICBC road safety speakers have been sharing their stories with more than 50,000 B.C. high school students every year.

“Our road safety speaker program is one way that we reach out to students to motivate them to make smart, safe driving choices,” said John Dickinson, ICBC’s director of road safety. “Our road safety speakers connect with students through their personal, heartbreaking stories and help them realize the tragic and life-changing consequences of taking risks while driving.”

Brooks will be speaking at: Wellington Secondary School, April 24 at 1 p.m.; John Barsby Secondary School, April 26 at 9:30 a.m.; and Cedar Secondary School, April 29 at 10:10 a.m.

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