Community

Drop It and Drive event raises awareness at Sullivan Heights Secondary

Surrey firefighters perform a mock car accident rescue exercise at Sullivan Heights Secondary during a
Surrey firefighters perform a mock car accident rescue exercise at Sullivan Heights Secondary during a 'Show You Care With Coats' charity event Tuesday afternoon.
— image credit: Evan Seal / The Leader

Surrey firefighters were on hand for a mock car accident rescue exercise at Sullivan Heights Secondary Tuesday, as part of a charity event marking the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims.

Entering its second year, Drop It And Drive commemorated the National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims (Nov. 23) by hosting its first annual "Show You Care With Coats" charity event on Nov. 29 at Sullivan Heights Secondary. With involvement and support from the Surrey Fire Fighter’s, IAFF Local 1271, the Surrey RCMP, Young Drivers of Canada and Klein Lyons, the event highlighted road safety issues facing British Columbians.

Drop It And Drive is seeking donations of new or gently used winter coats to represent and honour lives lost in British Columbia due to preventable road crashes.

The event was designed to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and general road safety while supporting worthy Surrey charities. The donated coats will be split between Surrey Urban Mission and The Front Room (South Fraser Community Services Society) and food donations will be accepted by the Surrey Food Bank.

As part of the World Health Organization’s goal to raise road safety awareness and reduce needless loss of life due to traffic crashes, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and other road safety organizations in Canada hosted a range of activities in support of the fourth annual National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims.

More than 2,100 Canadians have been killed since Jan. 2, 2011 on Canada’s 900,000 kilometres of roads and highways. This translates to six avoidable deaths every single day. Globally, 1.2 million people are killed in crashes, yearly, and the United Nations estimates this number could reach two million by 2020.

Additionally, over 159,000 injuries are attributed to road crashes since the beginning of the year on Canadian roads (many serious) and the impact of the carnage is widespread. Such tragedies touch families, friends, neighbours and work colleagues for years – and on a daily basis.

While the human toll is immeasurable, the social cost of motor vehicle collisions is about $63 biliion, every single year.

“Distracted driving affects everyone in our community. You don’t have to be the distracted driver to be the victim in a very preventable incident,” said David Klein, managing partner at Klein Lyons. “In our

work to represent car accident victims we see the aftermath of distracted driving. Our clients are injured physically, emotionally and financially. We are incredibly pleased with how far Drop It And Drive have taken this important message into the community. Their education and advocacy presentations are so important to making our roads safer.”

The Drop It And Drive campaign helps raise awareness about this growing problem through on-site presentations at schools, corporations and community groups.

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