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ICBC speaker delivers powerful message to Vancouver Island students ahead of grad season

April 2, 2012

With the graduation and prom party season around the corner, ICBC's road safety speaker John Westhaver is touring Vancouver Island this month to share his personal, heart-wrenching story with local high school students to remind them of the importance of making smart driving decisions.

On average, 240 youth are injured and two are killed during April, May and June on Vancouver Island every year.* Car crashes remain the number one preventable cause of death for youth in B.C. because young drivers tend to be inexperienced, over-confident and take more risks behind the wheel.

"Our speaker program is one way that we're reaching out to students because we care about their safety and we want to help them make smart choices when it comes to driving or getting in a car with their friends," said Fiona Temple, ICBC's director of road safety. "Our road safety speakers tell students about their first-hand experience of horrible crashes that have had profound effects on their lives."

John Westhaver has been speaking at schools across Canada and the USA, for almost 10 years. John's positive message on choices and how they can have lasting consequences will be delivered to Vancouver Island students throughout April and early May.

"After hearing my presentation, I want young people to gain the strength and courage to speak up when it's important and to stand up for themselves when they're in a difficult situation," said John.

For more than 15 years, ICBC road safety speakers have been sharing their stories with B.C. high school students. Teachers can select a speaker for their students by watching the speakers' video clips on icbc.com and using the resource guide.

"The ICBC road safety speaker series helps provide a connection to the realities of risk-taking behaviours as well as offering strategies to increase safer life choices," said Belmont Secondary School Principal Carl Repp. "This is one of the most important learning experiences this age group can receive."

In addition to the road safety speaker program, ICBC invests in various road safety programs including the Your Ad Here contest, K-10 school curriculum and B.C.'s graduated licensing program.

Editor's note: Media can attend the following upcoming speaking events with John Westhaver on Vancouver Island. Please contact ICBC to confirm the date and time 24 hours prior.

  • April 3 - Claremont Secondary, Victoria at 9:05 a.m.
  • April 3 - Victoria High School at 12:35 p.m.
  • April 5 - Queen Margaret's School, Duncan at 2:00 p.m.
  • April 10 - Lake Cowichan Secondary at 9:42 a.m.
  • April 11 - Brooks Senior Secondary, Powell River at 9:00 a.m.
  • April 12 - North Island Secondary, Port McNeil at 10:30 a.m.
  • April 12 - Port Hardy Secondary at 1:00 p.m.
  • April 16 - Alberni District Senior Secondary, Port Alberni at 9:00 a.m.
  • April 16 - Ucluelet Secondary at 1:55 p.m.
  • April 17 - Ladysmith Secondary at 2:00 p.m.
  • April 18 - Kwalikum Secondary, Qualicum Beach at 10:00 a.m.
  • April 18 - Ballenas Secondary, Parksville at 12:25 p.m.
  • April 19 - Nanaimo District Senior Secondary at 10:15 a.m.
  • April 19 - Dover Bay Secondary, Nanaimo at 1:40 p.m.
  • April 20 - Mark R. Isfeld Senior Secondary, Courtenay at 9:10 a.m.
  • April 21 - Brentwood College, Mill Bay at 9:00 a.m.
  • April 23 - Edward Milne Community School, Sooke at 10:00 a.m.
  • April 23 - Pacific Christian School, Victoria at 1:15 p.m.
  • April 24 - Belmont Secondary, Victoria at 9:15 and 10:45 a.m.
  • April 25 - Spectrum Community, Victoria at 10:10 a.m.
  • April 25 - St. Andrews Secondary, Victoria at 12:15 p.m.
  • April 26 - Parkland Secondary, Sidney at 12:05 p.m.
  • April 30 - Gold River Secondary at 9:30 a.m.
  • April 30 - Campbell River Christian School at 12:35 p.m.
  • May 1 - Timberline Secondary, Campbell River at 10:20 a.m.
  • May 1 - Carihi Secondary, Campbell River at 1:35 p.m.
  • May 2 - Highland Secondary, Comox at 9:00 a.m.
  • May 2 - Glacier View Learning Centre, Courtenay at 12:45 p.m.
  • May 3 - Georges P. Vanier Secondary, Courtenay at 10:50 a.m.

*Statistics are based on 2006 to 2010 ICBC and police data. Youth are defined as age 16 to 21.

Media contact:
Tamara McLean
250-414-7883