News Release - May 19, 1999
RIDE OF YOUR LIFE PROGRAM KICK-OFF
Saskatoon Sutherland MLA Mark Koenker, on behalf of Deputy Premier and
Crown Investments Corporation Minister Dwain Lingenfelter, along with
MD Ambulance, SGI and Saskatoon Transit Services, today launched the
8th annual Ride of Your Life program. The program will ensure
Saskatoon and area high school students have a safe ride home from
graduation night festivities.
"Every year, needless injuries and deaths occur on grad nights,
usually involving drinking and driving," Koenker said. "However, lack
of sleep from late parties and overcrowding of students in vehicles
has also contributed to such accidents. The Ride of Your Life program
works to eliminate those accidents by providing vans, buses and
volunteer drivers to safely transport students to and from their grad
Since 1992, M.D. Ambulance, together with SGI, Saskatoon Transit
Services and as many as 20 other corporate sponsors, has offered the
Ride of Your Life program. All graduating classes that are
participating in a chemical free after-grad are eligible to sign up.
This year, all 13 Saskatoon high schools and two rural high schools,
in Warmen and Martensville, are taking part.
"In 1998, 2,350 graduating students participated in the program and
arrived home safely after their grad nights," said Dave Dutchak,
Director of EMS for MD Ambulance. "MD Ambulance has helped provide a
memorable and tragedy free night for thousands of graduating students.
Our goal is to ensure 1999 is equally safe."
"The City of Saskatoon and members of the Amalgamated Transit Union
(ATU) local 615 have been involved in the Ride of Your Life program
from the beginning," said Dave Andreen, with Saskatoon Transit
Services. "The city donates the buses and fuel and the operators
donate their time. On average, 35 40 buses and drivers are
available to help transport students to and from their grad night
festivities every year."
The Ride of Your Life program also relies on vehicle dealerships in
Saskatoon to donate vans to help transport students.
SGI is a long-term co-sponsor, providing third-party liability
insurance to cover the volunteer drivers, and providing funding that
assists in buying shirts for all the volunteers.
"The effects of an accident on grad night are devastating to entire
communities," Koenker said. "By providing transportation on
graduation night, the goal of The Ride of Your Life program is to
ensure graduation festivities are memorable and safe."
The program runs from mid-May to the end of June.
For more information, contact:
Saskatoon Transit Services
Phone: (306)975-3139 (wk)