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ICBC road safety speakers reach out to Northern B.C. students ahead of grad party season

April 3, 2013


On average, 80 youth are injured and two are killed in crashes during April, May and June every year in Northern B.C.*

Starting next week, ICBC road safety speakers John Westhaver, Mike Buckingham and Kevin Brooks will be visiting Northern B.C. schools to connect with high school students as they head into the grad and prom party season.

"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 number one 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."

"The driving challenges faced by northern and rural drivers are often extraordinary," said Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. "There's snow on the ground for more time during the year, secondary roads, and a lot of people who enjoy recreational activities in the back country. That's why it's critical for young drivers to be absolutely sober when driving. ICBC's road safety speakers drive home that message in a personal and compelling way."

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."

"There is no more powerful way to have students realize the potential outcomes of their choices than the ICBC road safety speakers," said Kevin Baldridge, Vice-Principal Centre for Learning Alternatives in Prince George. "The tragedy and loss the speakers have experienced reaches the students on a very personal level. Our students see themselves in the stories being shared and learn the steps they can to take to keep themselves and others safe. The road safety speaker presentations change behavior and in turn, I believe, save lives."

You can find video clips of each speaker and more details on their presentations on

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

Editor's note: Media is invited to attend the following upcoming speaking events in Northern, B.C. Please contact ICBC (see contact below) to confirm the date and time 24 hours prior.

  • April 8 - Prince George Sr. Secondary - John Westhaver at 10:15 a.m.
  • April 9 - Tumbler Ridge Secondary - John Westhaver at 9 a.m.
  • April 9 - South Peace (Campus) Secondary, Dawson Creek - John Westhaver at 1:45 p.m.
  • April 10 - Fort Nelson Secondary - John Westhaver at 11 a.m.
  • April 11 - North Peace Secondary, Fort St John - John Westhaver at 9 a.m.
  • April 11 - Chetwynd Secondary - John Westhaver at 1:30 p.m.
  • April 12 - Mackenzie Secondary - John Westhaver at 12:30 p.m.
  • April 16 - John McInnis Centre, Prince George - John Westhaver at 10 a.m.
  • April 16 - Kelly Road Secondary, Prince George - John Westhaver at 12:30 p.m.
  • April 17 - McBride Secondary - John Westhaver at 12:30 p.m.
  • May 27 - Nechako Valley Secondary, Vanderhoof - Kevin Brooks at 11:15 a.m.
  • May 27 - Correlieu Secondary, Quesnel - Mike Buckingham at 12:30 p.m.
  • May 27 - Fort St. James Secondary - Kevin Brooks at 2:05 p.m.
  • May 28 - Williams Lake Secondary - Mike Buckingham at 11:01 a.m.
  • May 28 - Columneetza Secondary, Williams Lake - Mike Buckingham at 12:55 p.m.
  • May 28 - Houston Secondary - Kevin Brooks at 9:50 a.m.
  • May 28 - Smithers Secondary - Kevin Brooks at 1:40 p.m.
  • May 29 - Duchess Park Secondary, Prince George - Mike Buckingham at 1:09 p.m.
  • May 29 - Hazelton Secondary - Kevin Brooks at 1:15 p.m.
  • May 30 - Caledonia Secondary, Terrace - Kevin Brooks at 10 a.m.
  • May 31 - Pacific Coast Alternate School, Prince Rupert - Kevin Brooks at 9:15 a.m.

*Statistics are based on 2007 to 2011 ICBC and police data. Youth are defined as age 16 to 21.

Additional statistics:

  • On average, 10 youth are killed and 400 are injured in crashes every year in Northern B.C.*
  • On average, 44 youth are killed and 7,300 are injured in crashes every year in B.C.*
  • Twenty-five per cent of speeding drivers and 19 per cent of impaired drivers in B.C. involved in crashes, resulting injuries or fatalities, were between the ages of 16 and 21.*

Media contact:
Michelle Hargrave