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May 30, 2006
Mayor and Medical Officer join students to promote safe and sober driving
Mayor David Miller and Medical Officer of Health David McKeown today rewarded students for their role in promoting safe driving. In The Driver’s Seat is a health promotion program designed to encourage secondary school students to make a difference in their school communities by promoting safe and sober driving among their peers.

“Motor vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of death and injury for youth between 15 and 25 years old. Peer-education programs such as In The Driver’s Seat encourage young drivers to develop safe and responsible decision making skills,” said Dr. McKeown.

The Ontario Student Drug Use Survey (2005) reveals that one in seven licensed students drink and drive. Twenty per cent of licensed students report driving after using cannabis. More than one quarter (29 per cent) of all students reported being a passenger with a driver who had been drinking and 22 per cent rode with a driver who had been using drugs.

The good news is that Toronto youth are making positive choices. Compared to other areas of Ontario, this survey also indicates that students in Toronto are:
  • least likely to drink alcohol
  • least likely to report binge drinking
  • least likely to report drunkenness
  • using cannabis at lower rates.

This year, over 30 high schools participated in the In The Driver’s Seat program. Students developed and implemented their own initiatives to promote safe and sober driving. “These students are taking the time to set positive standards for themselves and their friends,” said Mayor Miller. “This type of youth-led initiative strengthens communities and helps build caring, safer environments for all of us.”

Each school documented their activities and a panel of community experts judged the results. The awards were given to the top 10 schools across the city.

This event was part of Toronto Public Service Week activities, which are taking place from May 29 to June 2. The City is hosting a series of activities throughout the week to showcase the role that the Toronto Public Service plays in delivering City services to Toronto residents, businesses and visitors. The Toronto Public Service has more than 48,000 staff in City divisions, agencies, boards and commissions serving 2.7 million residents. For more information about Toronto Public Service Week, visit or call 416-338-0338.

Media contact:

Kerri Richards
Toronto Public Health



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