Garneau's Youth Against Drunk Driving Club Members with their display in the galleria.

YADD Garneau members with their display on Blackout Day.
Photo: Vaibhav Singh

Youth Against Drunk Driving (YADD) Garneau hosted a two-day impaired driving awareness campaign from 4 to 5 November 2013.

On 4 November, Grade 12 students received a presentation from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada during Period 5. MADD screened a film showing a dramatization of high school students involved in impaired driving and also the pleading of families of the real victims of drunk driving. The film demonstrated how an individual’s life can change immeasurably because of another person’s decision to drive while impaired.

The film also gave some tips, such as to call 911 if drunk driving is suspected and to be ready to describe the colour, model, and license plate of the car, as well as the direction it is going in. It also warned to never follow the driving car.

On 5 November 2013, Blackout Day was hosted to educate the entire student body about the dangers of impaired driving, and hopefully to “steer them away from even thinking about it,” said YADD Garneau president Henry He. “Even if we can save one potential victim, all of our work would be worth it.”

In this event, students could participate in the traditional Vow of Silence, wear black to show respect to the victims of drunk driving, and/or donate to MADD Toronto.

Aside from demonstrating respect for the victims of impaired driving and their families, being silent for a day also taught one’s peers how “silence” would feel if their friend was not there. Participants themselves also got the opportunity to learn how alone their friends might be without them.

YADD Garneau works with MADD Canada, Toronto Public Health (TPH), and Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving (OSAID) to organize a variety of events throughout the school year. The Fatal Vision Challenge that was hosted last year in May 2013 will be hosted once again earlier next semester.