BCAA supports alcohol-free grad celebrations by contributing free memberships

    BURNABY, BC, June 19 /CNW/ - "Free" is the British Columbia Automobile
Association's (BCAA) theme for grad season: one free BCAA membership donated
to 100 high schools holding alcohol-free grad celebrations for a fatality-free
class of 2008.
    For the 17th year, BCAA is supporting B.C. and Yukon high schools
celebrating Dry Grads attended by at least 50 per cent of the school's
graduating students. The membership can be used as a gift, door prize or
auction item.
    "It's encouraging to know many young people are choosing to celebrate
their graduation without alcohol or drugs," says Allan Lamb, director of the
BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation. "Today's teens are leading the way when it
comes to alcohol-free and responsible Dry-Grad celebrations. We encourage
students to continue their vigilance and leadership in celebrating responsibly
not only during graduation time, but long into their adult lives."
    The "dry grad" concept has become increasingly popular in B.C. and the
rest of Canada since the early 1990s. However, the problem of impaired driving
continues to be a concern. According to 2005 B.C. Traffic Collision Statistics
(the latest data available), drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 years
account for the second-highest number of alcohol-related crashes, behind 21-to
25-year-old drivers. Young drivers aged 16 to 20 represented less than seven
per cent of the total driving population in 2005. Yet, they were responsible
for 16 per cent of all alcohol-related collisions that year.
    "In B.C., impaired drivers kill an average of two people each week and
injure 60 people each month," notes Lamb. "The numbers speak volumes about the
ongoing problem of impaired driving and should serve as a reminder to all
British Columbians to continue promoting and practicing safe and responsible
    BCAA encourages high schools to apply each year to its Dry Grad
Challenge. Since the program began in 1991, all 100 memberships have been
taken up each year by participating schools.
    BCAA's Dry Grad Challenge begins in October each year. To receive a BCAA
membership in 2009, schools can apply to BCAA Corporate Communications, 4567
Canada Way, Burnaby, B.C., V5G 4T1 no later than April 30, 2009. Application
forms are available by faxing (604) 268-5560, or calling (604) 268-5341.

    About BCAA

    BCAA is dedicated to meeting the needs of its members and customers
throughout B.C. and the Yukon, connecting them with a team of membership,
automotive, travel and insurance professionals. With over 780,000 members and
$120 million in revenues, BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C.
and the fourth largest CAA-affiliated association in Canada. In 2007 and 2008,
BCAA was named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by international HR
consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report on Business
magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member advocacy,
visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation
visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.

    About BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation

    The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation (TSF) is a non-profit registered
charity working with families, communities and business partners to reduce the
number and severity of traffic crashes and injuries in B.C. For more
information contact visit www.BCAATSF.ca or call the Child Passenger Safety
Information Line 1-877-297-2254.

For further information:

For further information: Allan Lamb, Executive Director, BCAA Traffic
Safety Foundation, Tel: (604) 297-2151, Cell: (604) 230-6159, E-mail:
allan@tsf-bcaa.com; Niela A. Melanio, Coordinator, BCAA Corporate
Communications, Tel: (604) 268-5493, E-mail: niela.melanio@bcaa.com

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British Columbia Automobile Association

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