Tens of thousands of teenagers impacted by Manitoba Public Insurance’s popular Friends for Life speaker series

National Day of Remembrance for road crash victims: Nov. 18

Driving while impaired can have deadly consequences and change your life forever in the blink of an eye ─ that’s the message Manitoba Public Insurance is bringing to thousands of students across the province this month with the return of the popular Friends for Life speaker series.

The series features three speakers touring more than 30 schools during November to give students a first-hand account of how their lives were emotionally and physically devastated due to impaired driving.

A special Friends for Life event was held today at Elmwood High School in Winnipeg. The presentation coincided with the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, which is overseen each year by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).

“Too many Manitobans know someone whose life has been forever changed because of impaired driving,” said Ward Keith, vice-president, Business Development & Communications and chief product officer, Manitoba Public Insurance. “The truly sad part is that all of the hurt and pain is completely preventable. Many of these lives were lost in collisions that could have been avoided if someone had simply made the right choice.”

Presented in conjunction with the Manitoba School Boards Association and Teens Against Drunk Driving, Friends for Life has reached close to 90,000 students over the past four years.

“It is the responsibility of all Manitoba drivers to have their safety and the safety of others at the forefront while on our roadways,” said Inspector Joanne Keeping, RCMP Traffic Services. “Adopting the personal motto: ‘Good drivers just drive’ can help us all do our part in ensuring safer roads.”

Manitoba Public Insurance statistics report that youth aged 16 to 19 are nearly four times more likely to have been involved in a collision while impaired compared to drivers aged 25 and older. Meanwhile, an average of 29 Manitobans are killed yearly on roadways due to distracted driving.

“The number one question that haunts our members after they investigate an impaired driving crash is why,” said Staff Sergeant Rob Riffel, Central Traffic Unit, Winnipeg Police Service.

“Why did this person make the decision to drive and cause lives to change forever? Why didn’t they leave their vehicle at home to remove the temptation to drive? These questions are rarely answered and only contribute to the senselessness of these incidents.”

About National Day of Remembrance:

On average, five people die on Canada’s roads each day. The National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims is Canada’s day to remember and honour these victims and their families. It is commemorated the third Wednesday of each November.

As the official steward of the day, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) regularly collaborates with partners, advocacy groups and others committed to road safety to raise awareness of those impacted and lost to road crashes.

The annual initiative serves as an important reminder of the preventative nature of these tragedies and how, when it comes to driving, lives can be saved by making the right decision.

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