After a month of organization and collective effort by the members of MGCI’s Youth Against Drugs (YAD) club, the Fatal Vision Challenge was held in the school gymnasium during lunch on 24 April, 2015.

“Canadians are killed due to impaired driving every day. We are trying to prevent completely preventable deaths through education,” said Henry He, the president of YAD Garneau.

The Fatal Vision Challenge took place over the lunch period, and consisted of four activities. The first was a true-or-false trivia board, serving to present students with vital facts about impaired driving. The second event was a combination of a ‘walk the line’ and ‘toss the cookie’ activity, the main component being the fatal vision goggles, which effectively illustrated the effect of alcohol and other drugs on hand-eye coordination. The third event consisted of an electric maze (with fatal vision googles) to provide the same effect, while the fourth event consisted of a mini-cart obstacle course that also used the goggles to simulate the dangers and difficulty of vision impairment while driving.

YAD Fatal Vision Challenge 3 - Sophia Liu

As part of the vision challenge, students wore glasses that would impair their vision, and attempted to throw an object into a bin. Photo: Sophia Liu

Rawnak Amin, the vice president of YAD, said that, “The main purpose was to host an event that was accessible to everyone and gave people the chance to understand the dangers of impaired driving. The goggles that Toronto Public Health provided us with gave the unique opportunity to see how much control you lose when you become impaired.”

When asked what they hoped to achieve, Henry He said, “The overall message was to challenge students who think they are able to drive impaired, and, hopefully after they try some of our activities and the fatal vision goggles, prove them wrong. I hope that through these fun activities, students get the idea of never driving impaired—and that includes not just alcohol but other drugs as well—ingrained into their mind.”

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With the glasses on, students attempted to complete a maze. Photo: Sophia Liu.

The activities also came with several prizes, an incentive that attracted many participants. The prizes ranged from t-shirts, beanies, and stress balls (provided by Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving (OSAID) to a random draw held for a $10 Tim’s gift card. A major sponsor was the Toronto Public Health, not only providing YAD with the fatal vision goggles but also contributing in planning and managing the activities.

Henry He said, “The turnout was pretty good. We had a lot of students lining up at each of our activities. It was nice to hear that not only were they enjoying the activities, but also hearing things such as, ‘I’ll never drink and drive.’ As long as we can convince one person and prevent one potential injury or death, it’s worth it.”

“I think when people choose to drink they don’t always think it through fully. If you’re responsible then it’s fine but the second you become impaired, your ability to make choice becomes affected and that’s when other people can really be put in danger,” said Rawnak.