Safe Kids Week 2018
Parachute's Safe Kids Week is an annual campaign, designed to raise public awareness of child safety issues, encouraging community involvement as part of the solution.
Our 2017 Safe Kids Week campaign was a great success, with hundreds of school and partner events held across Canada.
Parachute Safe Kids Week 2018 will take place June 4–10. This year our messaging will focus on the topic of Concussion on the road, at home and at play. We look forward to again working with local schools, health units and community partners to implement activities across the country.
We will also encourage Canadians to join the discussion on social media by following us @parachutecanada on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and using the hashtags dedicated to this campaign: #ConcussionAndKids and #SKW2018
Please stay tuned on this page for more information about our 2018 campaign as it becomes available.
National Teen Driver Safety Week - Program Overview
Parachute's National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) is an annual campaign, designed to drive public awareness of teen driver safety issues, encouraging community and youth involvement as part of the solution.
Last year, the National Teen Driver Safety Week 2017 campaign was a great success, with hundreds of educational events held across Canada.
For 2018 our campaign will run from Monday, October 22 to Sunday, October 28. This year our messaging will once again focus on the key issues of drugged, distracted, impaired and aggressive driving (including speeding). We look forward to working with local schools, police and partners to implement activities in communities across the country. We will also encourage teens, parents and community partners to join the discussion on social media.
Please stay tuned on this page for more information about our 2018 campaign, which we will update as soon it becomes available.
#CrossSAFE Rail Safety Statistics
Below are some of the key statistics used in our 2017/2018 #CrossSAFE rail safety campaign:
- Teach your family not to trespass on railway tracks, yards, tunnels and bridges. Trespassing could lead to a fine of up to $50,0001 and it’s the leading cause of railway related fatalities and injuries!2
- Roughly 50% of vehicle/train collisions happen at at crossings with active warning devices (gates, lights, bells)3 - obey the signals and role model safety for when your child becomes a driver too.
- Most incidents occur at crossings equipped with active warning devices3
- Never try to outrun a train! Even under emergency braking, a train can take up to 2 km to stop.4
- Trains can overhang the tracks by a meter on each side5 - keep away!
- An optical illusion can make it hard to judge how fast and close an approaching train really is6. Never try to outrun a train, whether walking, cycling or driving.
Social Media Images for #CrossSAFE
Add these images to the suggested wording found in our #CrossSAFE Social Media Guide, to help start social media conversations about rail safety!
Parachute is seeking to build capacity within communities across Canada, to educate Canadians about injury prevention and safe behaviours around railway tracks and property. The following materials have been created for the grant recipients of the #CrossSAFE Program Community Grant. Use these resources below to plan your next #CrossSAFE event/campaign and build awareness of rail safety in your communities.
This overview of the #CrossSAFE program will help inform anyone in your network about the project's goals in injury prevention and rail safety awareness
Build messaging for your next campaign/event on rail safety using these key #CrossSAFE messages
This useful tip sheet provides easy actionable tips on rail safety, which parents/caregivers can discuss with kids. Print and distribute these at events, or share it with your networks on social media using the hashtag #CrossSAFE
This useful tip sheet provides easy actionable tips on rail safety, which teachers can use with their teen students. Print and distribute these at events, or share it with your networks on social media using the hashtag #CrossSAFE
This colourful tip sheet provides easy actionable tips on rail safety, which teachers can use with their young students. Print and distribute these at events, or share it with your networks on social media using the hashtag #CrossSAFE
This useful visual provides easy actionable tips on rail safety, which can be used by teens, parents or teachers. Print and distribute these at events, or share it with your networks on social media using the hashtag #CrossSAFE
Use these sample tweets, images and posts to build your social media communication on Twitter and Facebook. Add our high quality social media images to your posts. Don't forget to use the #CrossSAFE hashtag to help spread the word!
Customize and use this template to invite members of the media to attend your upcoming rail safety activities/events
Customize and use this template to advise members of the media about the success of your rail safety activities/events
Use this to obtain consent from participants appearing or contributing in digital content related to your campaigns
Social Media Images for National Teen Driver Safety Week 2017
Add these images to the suggested wording found in our NTDSW 2017 Social Media Guide, to help start social media conversations about National Teen Driver Safety Week!
National Teen Driver Safety Week 2017 Resources
National Teen Driver Safety Week: October 15 to 21, 2017
Parachute is excited to announce the fifth annual National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) in Canada. NTDSW is designed to drive public awareness of teen driver safety issues, and encourages community and youth involvement as part of the solution. National Teen Driver Safety Week will run from October 15 to 21, 2017. Great momentum was achieved in 2016. Parachute and our community partners hosted over 500 events, and we are looking for even greater engagement in this year’s program.
This year, our messaging will focus on the issues of drugged, distracted, impaired and aggressive driving (including speeding). We are excited to work with local schools, police and partners to implement activities in communities across the country, including Positive Ticketing Blitzes and Parking Lot Chalk Makeovers.
We will also encourage teens, parents and community partners to join the discussion on social media, using the hashtag #GetHomeSafe.
Your NTDSW toolkit will include a ballot box (for the Positive Ticketing Blitz), positive tickets, postcards, pens, jumbo sidewalk chalk (for the Parking Lot Chalk Makeover) and swag bracelets.
National Teen Driver Safety Week 2017 is presented in part by:
® State Farm and related trademarks and logos are registered trademarks owned by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, used under licence by Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company and certain of its affiliates.
Railway collisions and trespassing incidents in Canada are on the rise, leading to more serious injuries and fatalities. Parachute is excited to announce the two-year #CrossSAFE program, funded in part by Transport Canada, which aims to promote rail safety and put the brakes on preventable injury. #CrossSAFE will promote and measure increased understanding of safe behaviours around railways with Canadian parents, children and youth – including pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
In collaboration with Operation Lifesaver, Parachute will integrate #CrossSAFE messages and materials into annual educational campaigns (such as Back to School, National Teen Driver Safety Week and National Rail Safety Week) with a tie-in to Vision Zero efforts. We are excited to work with four communities which have demonstrated a commitment to rail safety education; expanding their capacity to raise awareness through education, activities and events.
Visit this site regularly to check for updates, and free educational resources you will be able to download and use in your communities. Please email Isabel at email@example.com for more information and how you can participate in the #CrossSAFE initiative.
Whether you are a parent/caregiver looking for information on rail safety, or an organization looking to share information with your community, these resources will make it easy to learn about rail safety and prevent injuries.
Resource for parents and caregivers
This useful Tip Sheet for Parents and Caregivers provides key information on rail safety. These tips will help you ensure your family is rail safety savvy. Print, distribute to your networks, or share on social media with the hashtag #CrossSAFE. For more free downloadable materials, visit our #CrossSAFE Resources page.
Resources for communities
Parachute is seeking to build capacity within communities across the country to educate Canadians about injury prevention and rail safety. We've developed tools for #CrossSAFE community grant recipients, for use in their next #CrossSAFE event/campaign, to raise awareness of rail safety in their region. Visit our #CrossSAFE Resources page now, to download these free tools - and help prevent rail-related injuries and fatalities.
Vice President, Parachute
Be an #everydaysuperhero
Harper, 7 years old
Safe and Active Transportation
Matt Aymar, Knowledge Translation Coordinator, Parachute
20 Stitches: My six year-old’s road to recovery
Hundreds of communities joined us to celebrate this national awareness week developed to bring attention to predictable and preventable injuries in children.
Parachute Safe Kids Week 2017 took place June 5th – June 11th in communities across Canada, with a focus on promoting safe and active transportation: Walk, Bike Wheel, which includes walking, cycling, skateboarding, scootering and other wheeled activities.
While addressing active transportation safety is complex, there are a few easy steps we can all take to keep children, and ourselves safe. While the official Parachute Safe Kids Week 2017 is over, feel free to explore the information on this page.
Check out community events that may be taking place near you, and use our resources to plan your own event and activities to promote safe and active transportation.
Take a selfie with the pledge card to show your commitment to being an #everydaysuperhero promoting safe and active transportation, and share it on social media. Be sure to use the hashtag #everydaysuperhero
Vision Zero for Safer Kids
Every child needs a safe environment to be active,which is why Parachute fully endorses the Vision Zero Approach. Learn more about how changes in road infrastructure can prevent injuries before they happen.
Provinces and municipalities across Canada are proclaiming Parachute Safe Kids Week.
|In partnership with
the Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Parachute Brain Waves
What is Parachute Brain Waves?
Brain Waves is a free, informative and fun half-day neuroscience presentation for students in grades 4 to 6. Trained volunteers with an understanding and passion for injury prevention bring the hands-on program, which includes activity booklets, helmet fitting tips, and Jello Brains, to classrooms cross Canada.
Students learn about different parts of the brain, basic neuroscience vocabulary, and how and why it's important to protect their brain and spinal cord. By bringing this program into the classroom, teachers are giving their students a new awareness of the brain and spinal cord, and providing them with simple strategies to prevent injury.
Still curious about Brain Waves? Please see our Brain Waves Program Summary and for more information.
Parachute Brain Waves Kits - online
Our Brain Waves program is available as an online kit. The kits are available in English and French, and free of charge. The Brain Waves Kits are for those who currently do not have access to a formal Brain Waves site. To receive a free online kit for your community, please complete the order form. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become a Parachute Brain Waves Site
Are you interested in starting a Brain Waves site in your community? Contact us at email@example.com for more information on how you can get involved!
I ThinkFirst! Contest 2014 - 2015 Winners
We heard from kids about how they think first to prevent injury!
The 2014-2015 I ThinkFirst! Contest proved to be an even greater success this year! Parachute received 149 submissions from 177 student participants from schools across Canada including Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
The annual I ThinkFirst! Contest encourages students in grades K-8 from across Canada to submit creative art projects, explaining in their own words why and how they “ThinkFirst!” to prevent injury when they are active at play, school or at home. Based on the TD ThinkFirst For Kids curriculum, the goal of the contest is to highlight the importance of brain and spinal cord injury prevention. Submissions could include: photos, paintings, videos, poems, posters, collages, comic books, short stories.
We enlisted the help of a fantastic judging panel made up of representatives from the medical field, Parachute’s president, TD, an artist, a parent, and a media/television celebrity.
I ThinkFirst! Contest Judging Panel
- Diana Mancuso, torontoteachermom.com
- Dr. Charles Tator, Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto
- Dr. Alun Ackery, Emergency Physician and Trauma Team Leader, Toronto Western Hospital
- Ian Mendes, Host, TSN Radio Ottawa, and Today’s Parent Blogger
- Louise Logan, Parachute President & CEO
- Richard Rizzo, Artist
- Shirley Choy, TD Bank
I ThinkFirst! Contest winners named
Congratulations to the following top 3 classrooms for their bright and colourful paintings and drawings, creative poetry and short stories.
Top 3 Classrooms
- Robert Moore School, Grade 2/3 class, Fort Frances, ON
- Sir William Gage Middle School, Grade 8 class, Brampton, ON
- Matthew Elementary, Grade 4 class, Bonavista, NL
And congratulations to the following 5 individuals/teams for their creative submissions including drawings, collages, and videos.
Top 5 Individual/Team Submissions
- Grace Petsnick, Grade 7, J.W. Walker School, Fort Frances, ON
- Alysse Mills, Emma Pearen, and Rhea Gupta, Grade 8, Sir William Gage Middle School, Brampton, ON
- Marniesa Vassel and Jahzya Ahmed-Richards, Grade 8, Sir William Gage Middle School, Brampton, ON
- Keirsten Ducharme, Grade 3, Robert Moore Public School, Fort Frances, ON
- Keaton Gillies, Grade 2, Sussex Elementary School, Sussex, NB (Parachute President’s choice)
The following submissions were also highly rated among the judges for their creativity and uniqueness, and deserve an honourable mention.
Honourable Mentions - Individual Submissions
- Fredrica Martel, Grade 5, St. Mark School, Markstay, ON
- Elizabeth Inglis, JK, Francis H. Cleurgue School, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
- Ariana Johnson-Potson, Grade 3, Robert Moore School, Fort Frances, ON & Jack Davis, Grade 3, Robert Moore School, Fort Frances, ON
View all the submissions in on our Facebook album.
Find out more about the TD ThinkFirst for Kids curriculum for grades K-8.
Check out Parachute's blog article about one of the contest winners Catching up with the ThinkFirst contest winner.
Here are all the provinces and municipalities that have proclaimed National Teen Driver Safety Week in 2015:
2018 Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contest
Here's a look at one of our past winners, David Innes:
An initiative of Parachute and FedEx Express Canada, Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contest honours the extraordinary contributions of dynamic individuals who help keep our children safe.
Do you know a crossing guard who has made an impact in your community?
Parachute’s search for Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard continues this year!
Tell us about your favourite crossing guard:
- How have they kept kids safe?
- Why are they a good role model?
- Does your crossing guard do other activities in your community to promote safety?
- Remember to include photos or drawings, and letters from your students on why your crossing guard should be Canada's favourite!
Contest and registration details
From February 20 to April 20, 2018, Parachute and FedEx Express Canada will be accepting nominations for Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard.
We welcome students, educators, parents, and community leaders to recognize the contributions of those who play an important role in pedestrian safety by helping children make the safe journey to-and-from school. Encourage kids and schools you know to participate!
Feel free to print copies of the Crossing Guard Contest promotional poster.
Follow the hashtag #CANFavCrossGuard for updates throughout the contest and follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Eligibility & Prize Details
Eligible crossing guards must be currently working at a Canadian crossing location. More on contest rules.
The three winning crossing guards will receive:
- $500 cheque
- An engraved plaque
- Each contest winner’s school will also receive $500!
Deadline for submissions: April 20, 2018
Winners will be notified on or before May 4, 2018.
Our 2017 winners
Sheryl Hauraney, Port Hope, Ontario: Longtime crossing guard Sheryl Hauraney at Beatrice Strong Public School is a valued member of her community. She ensures speeding cars slow down, greets all students and parents by name, and volunteers at numerous school events.
David Innes, St. John's, Newfoundland: For more than three years, David Innes has been a volunteer crossing guard at Rennie’s River Elementary School. Students, staff and parents are inspired by his dedication even in harsh weather, including shoveling sidewalks to ensure safety.
Monique Tremblay, Laval, Quebec: Staff and students at Terry Fox Elementary School praise crossing guard Monique Tremblay. She makes students smile each day, teaches them to stay alert and aware, and personally salts the sidewalks to ensure safety in the winter.
Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard Contest is part of Walk This Way, a pedestrian safety program aimed at reducing the number of child pedestrian injuries by raising driver awareness and making schools more walkable.
2015 National Teen Driver Safety Week Resources
Best friends are very special people you want in your life forever. They are the people you make plans with, the people you talk to, and the people with whom you share the most important things. If you care about your best friend, let them know that teen driver safety is a huge issue in Canada. From October 19-25, 2015, Parachute is asking you to be a #BFF and encourage your best friends to #PracticeSafeText during #NTDSW (National Teen Driver Safety Week.) Help us #stoptheclock on distracted driving. Talk to your #BFF about texting while driving. By agreeing to #PracticeSafeText and waiting until they arrive before texting you back, you gain a lifetime of memories. Join Parachute in making these completely preventable injuries a thing of the past, and ensure that you and your best friends remain Best Friends Forever.
For resources available in french, please click here.
Social Media Images
Downloadable PDF posters that you can print on 8.5 x 11 paper and post in community spaces.
TD ThinkFirst for Kids Concussion Module
A new concussion module has been developed as an independent unit about concussions, its symptoms, treatment and related issues for kindergarten to grade 8 students. This component has been broken into introductory and intermediate sections, to provide teachers with flexibility to adapt the curriculum to their class. By completing this curriculum students will become familiar with concussion concepts, and will help them factor risks associated with concussions into their decision-making.
Jack Chambers Public School
You won’t find a person more dedicated to their job than Dale Martin. She takes pride in keeping the children and parents of Jack Chambers Public School in London, Ontario safe every day.
Dale shows her commitment to her job of keeping kids safe by arriving early and staying late - she ensures that kids having after-school practices are safe too. Although she doesn’t live in the immediate neighbourhood, Dale cares for the community as her own, keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
Dale has demonstrated on a daily basis her genuine care and concern for the students and her commitment to the their safety is evident to all who know her.
East Lambton Elementary School
Students and parents at East Lambton Elementary School, and St. Peter Canisius in Watford, Ontario nominated Gerry Brown because he is an integral part of their community. For 30 years Gerry has been guarding generations of children at a busy highway that runs through the town.
Gerry is also known for his involvement with community events, as a member of the Watford Legion he makes sure to help educate students on the meaning and importance of Remembrance Day. He is also seen helping out members of the community by shoveling sidewalks in the winter.
In this small town of 1700, it is special to have someone looking out for its young people. Thanks to the Gerry’s watchful eye, that is possible.
Stacey Levitt Memorial Award
About the Award
The Stacey Levitt Memorial Award was created in memory and celebration of Stacey’s life by her family through Parachute. This annual high school student award encourages Canadian youth to embody Stacey’s qualities and ideals and Parachute’s overarching goal of a long life lived to the fullest, while maintaining an approach that is rooted in risk management and injury prevention.
The Levitt family awards each year's selected recipient $2,500 in funding to help them live their life to the fullest. The award could be put towards an educational endeavour, engagement in sports, or investment in a travel experience – all pursuits that would have resonated with Stacey. Award recipients are expected to write a reflection on the impact of the funding on their life, due within one year of the distribution of funds.
The successful recipient will also receive a copy of Stacey’s book of poetry, I Am a Rose: A Life in Poetry published by her family in 1996 after her death.
Set a goal
and reach it!
Hold your head high!
Don’t settle for second,
Aim for the top,
Use your power!
Let yourself go
to the zenith of your being!
Believe in yourself!
You can do whatever you want
If you really set your heart to it!
- Inspiring words from Stacey’s poetry journal, written in 1989 at the age of 12
2018 Stacey Levitt Memorial Award
Past Stacey Levitt Memorial Award Recipients
2017 - Jenicca Jean Upper Queensbury, NB
2016 - Thomas Semychyshyn Winnipeg, MB
2015 - Kennedy Neumann Burnaby, BC
2014 - Melissa Tiggert Toronto, ON
Stacey Levitt was born May 19, 1977 at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. She attended Allenby Public School, Glenview Senior Public School and Northern Secondary School. Stacey had a wide variety of interests and lived a busy and active life while growing up in North Toronto with her family – her parents Ned and Cheryl, her sisters Marni and Jacqueline, and many very special and close friends.
On Aug. 30, 1995, 18-year-old Stacey was struck and killed by a car while jogging in her Toronto neighbourhood.
To learn more about the Stacey Levitt Memorial Award, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teen pedestrian safety survey
With the support of FedEx, Parachute conducted a poll of Canadian teenagers to better understand the habits and experiences associated with distracted walking and pedestrian safety for teens. We polled 510 Canadian teenagers aged 13 to 18, across a balanced sample of gender and regions in Canada, to capture these results which give us a great picture of what is going on here in Canada.
The study found that 51% of Canadian teens report being hit or almost hit by a car, bike or motorcycle. Of those 51%, 6% were actually hit, and 46% reported they were almost hit. Interestingly, teenagers from Quebec were significantly less likely to have reported being ‘almost hit’ (33%) compared to teens in Western Canada (49%) and Ontario (48%).
We asked teens that reported being hit or almost hit (51%) to consider the circumstances of the incident or near miss. Teens reported the following reasons:
• The driver was going too fast (30%)
• Not looking before stepping onto the road (20%)
• The driver wasn’t paying attention (72%)
• Being distracted by phone, music or other communication device (8%)
A notable finding was that teenagers from Quebec were significantly less likely to report that the ‘driver wasn’t paying attention’ (53%) compared to teens from Western Canada (78%) and Ontario (76%).
One aim of the study was to examine the extent to which teens engaged in various types of risky behaviour while walking along the street. The most commonly cited behaviour was listening to music (55%) with texting (41%) and talking on the phone (33%) being reported second and third most often. Other behaviours included in the survey were using smartphone features (20%) and reading information on a mobile phone (15%). Lastly, watching videos on a phone, playing games on a phone and looking at websites on a phone were each reported by 6% of Canadian teens. This study showed that females were significantly more likely than males to report listening to music (60% compared to 50%), texting (46% compared to 36%) and talking on the phone (39% compared to 26%) while walking.
The study also asked teens about their transportation to and from school. Results showed that 35% of teens walk to school, with 27% taking the school bus, 24% riding to school in a car, and 22% taking public transportation. Other responses included ‘driving myself’ (10%), ‘other’ (3%), and ‘do not attend school’ (2%). Teens in Western Canada were significant less likely to ride a school bus (16%) compared to teens in Ontario (27%) and Quebec (39%).
Teens were asked to consider their behaviour as pedestrians. Based on pedestrian injury data, walking in the dark and disobeying pedestrian signals are important risk factors for injury. In this study, 42% of teens reported walking in the dark, with younger teens aged 13 - 15 (54%) being significantly more likely to do so compared to older teens aged 16 - 18 (31%). Further, 42% of teens reported running across the street. In this case, younger teens were also more likely to report this behaviour compared to older teens (47% compared to 38%, respectively). Lastly, 72% of teens reported crossing the street on a red light, 42% of teens reported crossing in the middle of the block, and 37% cross busy intersections at the time of day when there’s lots of traffic.
Grade 7-8 resources
The TD Think First For Kids Program for Grade 7-8 provides teachers with an innovative supplement to the Science and Physical Education curricula. Students will become familiar with the brain, spinal cord and nervous system, including lessons on reflexes and synapses. The students will develop analytical skills by applying the concepts taught in the classroom and in this program to critical analyses of potentially dangerous situations. These 6 modules can be easily integrated into other classroom plans, and will create opportunities for skill building.
Curriculum and resources: Grade 7-8
Grade 4-6 resources
The TD Think First For Kids Program aims to foster safety conscious habit formation and behavioural change in students, in order to promote life-long injury prevention awareness. The Grade 1, 2 and 3 materials introduce students to key biology concepts, such as brain and spinal cord anatomy. This is used as foundation for activities and lessons on injury topics like sport and recreational safety. The program will encourage creative problem solving in discussions of these important topics.
Curriculum and resources: Grade 4-6
Grade 1-3 resources
The TD Think First For Kids Program aims to foster safety conscious habit formation and behavioural change in students, in order to promote life-long injury prevention awareness. The Grade 1, 2 and 3 materials introduce students to key biology concepts, such as brain and spinal cord anatomy. This is used as foundation for activities and lessons on injury topics like sport and recreational safety. The program will encourage creative problem solving in discussions of these important topics.
Curriculum and resources: Grade 1-3
Parachute appreciates the importance of prevention as a defence against injury. The TD Think First For Kids Program for Kindergarten helps develop this attitude towards safety from a young age through education. With interactive activities, songs and lessons, kindergarteners will become familiar with the function of their brain and spinal cord, and explore injury topics including cycling and playground safety. In 10 lessons students will learn to identify dangerous situations and develop their problem solving skills.
(All songs are in MP3 format)
All Songs (ZIP format)
Moment of Silence
Stacey Levitt, 1977-1995
Stacey Levitt was born on May 19, 1977 in Toronto. Growing up in North Toronto, she attended Allenby Public School, Glenview Senior Public School and Northern Secondary School. She was an incredible loving daughter, a loyal sister and a close friend to many. Stacey was a happy and outgoing child who excelled at school, participating in many sports and always wanted to try new challenges.
In the early evening on August 30, 1995, Stacey went jogging. Wearing headphones, she started to cross the street, but as she stepped off the curb Stacey was struck and killed by a car. Stacey Levitt was 18 years old.
Reflecting back on his daughter’s life, Ned Levitt remembers that, “Stacey wanted to do what I did and wanted to learn what I knew. She excelled at learning sports. She loved to learn, and I loved to teach. Stacey was, from the beginning, a happy and outgoing child. I overcame my claustrophobia to learn scuba diving, because Stacey wanted to try it. For some reason, when she was with me, I felt safe underwater.”
At Parachute, we want to keep Stacey’s legacy alive. With your support, we want to spread the word and educate teenagers and adults about the dangers of distracted walking. Our goal is to get people to put their devices down, look both ways and take off their headphones when crossing the street.
In honour of Stacey, and the thousands of young pedestrians who are killed or injured in Canada each year, help us spread the word about the dangers of distracted walking. Watch and share this important video that encourages everyone to observe a moment of silence, by putting down devices and paying attention when crossing the street.
Remember, take a moment of silence when you cross the street. The next life you save might be your own, your friend’s, your sibling’s or even your parent’s.
Moment of Silence PSA
This public service announcement encourages Canadians to commit to taking a moment of silence by putting down their device and paying attention when crossing the street. It is dedicated to 1000's of young pedestrians that are killed or injured in Canada each year.
A Message from Ned Levitt
Pedestrian Safety and Teens Infographic
Moment of Silence Event
On November 17, 2014 an event was held with students from Northern Secondary School to share the results of the survey and launch the moment of silence public service announcement. Read the press release.
I ThinkFirst! Contest 2018
We want to hear from kids about how they Think First to prevent injury!
The annual I ThinkFirst! Contest will be running from April 9 to May 14, 2018.
Students in grades K-8 from across Canada are invited to submit creative art projects, explaining in their own words why and how they "ThinkFirst!" to prevent injury when they are active at play, school or at home.
Based on the TD ThinkFirst For Kids curriculum, the goal of the contest is to highlight the importance of brain and spinal cord injury prevention. Submissions could include: photos, paintings, videos, poems, posters, collages, comic books, short stories.
The top three winning classrooms receive a classroom set of helmets and a $500 gift card to Scholar's Choice, and the top five individual winners receive a $200 gift card to a sporting goods store.
More details to come on how to participate!
Parachute received some wonderful submissions from student participants from Ontario and Saskatchewan for the 2017 I ThinkFirst! Contest.
We enlisted the help of a fantastic judging panel:
Stella Acquisto, CityNews
Gina Bell, Mommy Blogger
Pamela Fuselli, Vice-President, Knowledge Transfer & Stakholder Relations
Shayna Jaymie, Parent & Mommy Blogger
Dr. Richard Louis, New Brunswick Trauma Program
I ThinkFirst! Contest winners named
Top 3 Classrooms
1. Mrs. Katherine Raas, Osborne Elementary School, Grade 1 Class, Prince Albert, SK
2. Mrs. Englezos, Trinity Montessori School, Grade 6 Class, Markham, ON
3. Mrs. Clark & Mr. Shakespeare, Harriet Todd Elementary School, Grade 3/4 and Grade 5/6 Classes, Orillia, ON
Top 5 Individual Submissions
Valerie Fan – Age 8, Trinity Montessori School, Markham ON (Video)
Mya Chana – Age 10, Trinity Montessori School, Markham, ON
Aryanna Noury – Age 10, Trinity Montessori School, Markham, ON
Aidan Leung – Age 8, Trinity Montessori School, Markham, ON
Mariam George – Age 12, Trinity Montessori School, Markham, ON
View the winning submissions in Parachute's Facebook album.
The 2016 I ThinkFirst! Contest proved to be an even greater success this year! Parachute received 199 submissions from student participants from schools across Canada including Ontario and Newfoundland.
View all the submissions in on our Facebook album.
The 2014-2015 TD I Think First! Contest proved to be a great success, with Parachute receiving over 149 submissions from 177 students from across Canada!
View all the submissions in on our Facebook album.
NASCAR’s Denny Hamlin asks drivers to slow down. Take the Pace Car pledge and win
"On the track, speed is an important part of winning races, but it can have drastic consequences on the streets in our communities," said NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin. "You can help make a difference. Take the Pace Car pledge to be a safe and responsible driver, and help make your roads safer for all Canadians." Visit the FedEx Express Canada Facebook page for a chance to win one of 10 Denny Hamlin Prize Packages.
Passport to Safety
Passport to Safety is an online national safety test, certification and transcript program for workers. Those who complete a test receive a ‘certificate’ or ‘passport’ which acknowledges and verifies the student’s basic level of workplace health and safety knowledge. All of our online tests provide a base for becoming smarter and safer workers. It is a catalyst for change intended to prevent needless workplace injuries and preventable deaths and promote a culture change driven by knowledge and awareness through youth and workers of all ages.
Currently we offer the following online tests:
- Passport to Safety Challenge for Teens (geared for those in the high school curriculum)
- Passport to Safety 101 Test (picture-oriented, with very basic language used)
- Passport to Safety Test (geared for those 20+)
- Passport to Safety for Supervisors (Ontario and Canada version)
- Passport to Farm Safety
If you have questions about Passport to Safety or need assistance in signing up, please email email@example.com or call (647) 776-5100.
Parachute Brain Waves Coordinator and Volunteer Resources
This page is a hub for Brain Waves Coordinators across Canada. The English and French resources needed to coordinate and deliver Brain Waves can be found on this page. If you have additional questions, or ideas for resources we should add to this page, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Coordinator Manual is a source of reference and direction for community members looking to coordinate Brain Waves in their community. It guides Coordinators through the process of school and volunteer recruitment, budgeting, purchasing materials and collecting surveys.
The Volunteer Instructor Guide is geared to everyone presenting Brain Waves The Guide details Brain Waves activities and provides the content needed to present educational components like the Sense modules and Helmet Fitting demonstration.
The Activity Booklet will provided to students who take part in a Brain Waves presentation. It is available in English and French. If you would like hard copies of the booklet, please contact your Brain Waves Coordinator.
Parachute Brain Waves feedback
Feedback from all Brain Waves participants is vital for Parachute to determine what is going well, and what can be improved. Feedback forms are available for teachers, volunteers, and Coordinators. 2017 forms can be accessed below:
Some schools prefer to use powerpoint presentations instead of acetates or overhead slides. Please see attached for a Brain Waves PowerPoint presentation.
The activity Brain Waves students look forward to most! Please see recipe and instructions to make a Jello Brain Mold! Please note the recipe measurements and ingredients will provide for the most realistic "Brain". Substituting ingredients may result in your Jello not solidifying correctly.
Parachute Brain Waves Classroom FAQ - EN only
Brain Waves can spark interesting, funny and even odd questions about all things related to the brain. Here are some answers to the difficult questions volunteers have received during Brain Waves.
Walk This Way
Parachute, together with our sponsor FedEx Express® Canada, is pleased to offer the Walk This Way in Canada pedestrian safety program, aimed at reducing child pedestrian injuries and deaths while encouraging healthy and active living.
In Canada, pedestrian injuries are one of the leading causes of injury-related deaths for children 14 years of age and younger. By working together we can and have made a difference! According to Transport Canada, the number of child pedestrian injuries and deaths has slowly declined over the last decade. Parachute wants to see the rates continue to go down because each fatality is a tragedy – most often a preventable one.
Our pedestrian program offers resources and tools for parents, caregivers, teachers and community groups who share our goal of enhancing child-pedestrian safety. We are pleased to share these materials and always welcome feedback.
Pedestrian Safety Infographic
This infographic highlights five ways children are getting hit, paired with five tips to prevent them from happening.
Safe School Zones
Safe School Zones is a multi-country Walk This Way project that focuses on pedestrian safety around elementary schools, which will be called the “school zone.” The purpose of the project is to improve the safety of pedestrians around schools by evaluating the school zone and implementing different interventions, with a focus on permanent environmental improvements. The project is in support of the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020). The overall goal is to demonstrate that the Safe School Zone project is effective in reducing the number of collisions, injuries and fatalities on the road.
Parachute has awarded a grant to Sherbrooke Safe Community in Quebec to participate in the Safe School Zones project over a two-year period.
Parachute continues to work with a community in Newfoundland as they are coming to the end of their Safe School Zones project.
Pace Car Program
Is your community concerned about pedestrian safety and unsafe driving? Are you looking for a way to engage community members to create a pedestrian-friendly community? Why not become a Parachute Pace Car Community?
Teen pedestrian safety survey
A survey of 500 teens was conducted by Parachute and FedEx on the topic of pedestrian safety. View our infographic and read more about the survey results here.
International Walk to School (IWALK) 2016
IWALK Day October 5, 2016
Or walk/wheel to school all month!
International Walk to School Month (IWALK) is a global annual, premier event of the Active & Safe Routes to School program, taking place each October. International Walk to School Month gives children, parents, school teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global event as they celebrate the many benefits of walking. Walkers from around the world walk to school together for various reasons — all hoping to create communities that are safe places to walk.
For more information about International Walk to School Week, and to access resources and materials visit http://www.saferoutestoschool.ca/international-walk-school-daymonth
FedEx is a proud supporter of Walk This Way, a global program that advocates for child pedestrian safety.
TD ThinkFirst for Kids
TD ThinkFirst For Kids is a school-based curriculum program for teachers and children in Grades K to 8.
Using lessons and fun activities, the program:
- is interactive and flexible
- allows teachers to focus on specific injury risks or general prevention units
- engages students in learning how to think first to prevent brain and spinal cord injuries, before participating in their favourite activities at home, school and play
- empowers kids to make safe decisions and teaches them how to navigate risks in their daily lives that could lead to injury
This program was developed by a multi-disciplinary team including teachers, curriculum experts, doctors, and neuroscientists. In 2007 this program received the Safe Communities Sean Kells Award for Community Safety.
We heard from kids about how they think first to prevent injury! Learn more about the I ThinkFirst Contest! and how you could win helmets for your entire classroom!
Overview of No Regrets leadership program
About No Regrets
Piloted in 2003, No Regrets was previously a high school based peer leadership program that trained staff advisers and student leaders to raise awareness and implement injury prevention activities and events in their schools. These activities and events were designed to promote at least one of the five key messages (Buckle Up, Look First, Wear the Gear, Get Trained, and Drive Sober) and influence the risk-taking behaviour of students related to activities such as: driving, biking, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and partying.
We have expanded the No Regrets program to increase our reach and targeted demographic to ages 13-24. No Regrets now targets Canadian youth across the board and inspires them to become leaders in injury prevention in their communities. While we continue to promote the program directly to high schools, we have also welcomed a wide variety of new potential participants in universities, colleges, youth groups, sports teams/organizations, etc.
New online resources have been developed for the No Regrets program including an online program registration system, training video, a program toolkit, special topics webinars, and an expansion of suggested activities and events. Many of these resources can be found in our new training portal, where participants can go to access all of the information they need to start and maintain their group. In addition to these online resources, participants in the No Regrets program can expect to be supplied with a variety of promotional items and a high level of support from program staff.
Join the movement to prevent injuries and save lives in your community. Get your student group or club involved in this amazing initiative!
No Regrets is a program of Parachute, a national organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives. Parachute’s injury prevention programming and advocacy efforts are designed to help Canadians reduce their risks of injury while enjoying long lives lived to the fullest.
If you have any questions please contact email@example.com.
No Regrets Live testimonials
What people are saying about No Regrets Live
“[The show] was an outstanding success. Judging from the overwhelming feedback, we feel it has been the single most successful program run at the community level … Even now, two weeks after the performances, we continue to receive telephone calls from parents and teachers.” Volunteer, Burlington, Ont.
“No one can leave a [ No Regrets Live] presentation without being convinced.” Peter Mansbridge, CBC National News
“I can honestly say that I have never seen our students so deeply moved by an assembly production.” Vice Principal, Sir John A. MacDonald Collegiate
Overview of No Regrets Live
About No Regrets Live
No Regrets Live is an internationally acclaimed presentation that encourages young people to choose to take smart risks. The goal is to help youth see the risks in their everyday lives and to take those risks in the smartest ways possible so they can enjoy a long life lived to the fullest. No Regrets Live combines a DVD presentation with a live talk given by an injury survivor, who speaks candidly about how the injury has affected his or her life, while presenting positive choices that can be made to reduce the risk of injury. We hope that our positive and empowering approach to preventing injury will help youth make smarter decisions.
Three easy steps to booking a No Regrets Live show
- Fill out the No Regrets Live Booking Form. Fax it to Parachute at 416-596-2721 or email it. On this form, you will be asked for information relating to the venue you plan to host the No Regrets Live show at, the audience size, and the desired week that you would like the show to present. This timeline allows the Program Coordinator to find a date that accommodates both the venue and the presenter’s schedules.
- The Parachute No Regrets Live Program Coordinator will contact the host within three business days after the Booking Request Form has been submitted. At this point, the Program Coordinator will have a quote prepared, along with a finalized date for the show.
- Following the discussion, the host will be mailed a confirmation agreement, which will outline the responsibilities of both the host and Parachute. The signed agreement will be returned to Parachute, with 100% of the presentation costs, four weeks prior to the show. When the documentation and payment is received in office, the performance is officially booked.
No Regrets Live fees, A/V and accessibility requirements
Please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org for current pricing information.
Parachute's No Regrets Live arrives at schools with just the presenter and a DVD. Recognizing that most venues have adequate audio-visual equipment to run the show, Parachute will expect hosts to supply a:
- Sound system
- DVD player
- Microphone for the presenter (preferably a lapel mic) and one to two microphones for the question period
The venue will also require an experienced AV person to run the systems mentioned above.
Please note that hosts must guarantee their venue is wheelchair accessible in order for Parachute to confirm a booking. If a presenter arrives at the venue to discover it is not accessible, Parachute reserves the right to immediately cancel the show with absolutely no refund.
- This means that the venue, staging and washrooms must be accessible for those in wheelchairs to independently manoeuvre. There should be a ramp leading into the building, as well as elevators if the performance venue and washrooms are not located on the ground floor.
- Washrooms must have accessible stalls that are large enough for a wheelchair to fit into, a door that opens outwards and grab rails inside. Door widths should be at least 32 inches wide for a straight in approach. If turning is necessary (i.e., the door is located down a hallway), the frame should be 36 inches wide.
- The stage should allow the presenter to access it on their own, not lifted by volunteers. Such modifications are unacceptable and could result in cancellation of the show without any refund.
For more details, please contact:
David Wilson at email@example.com
No Regrets Live presenter biographies
Jade had had his driver’s licence for just three days when he picked up two of his best friends to go for a drive. The friends often did risky stunts for a rush. So when Dieter suggested riding on the hood of the car, they all agreed. But as Jade picked up speed, Dieter began to slip off the car and Jade slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting him. Dieter fell and slid down the road on his head. He nearly died and now lives with a permanent brain injury. Jade, uninjured, was charged, lost his driver’s licence for five years and felt ostracized by his family and community. He left his small town in Alberta and moved to British Columbia to start his life over. As a presenter, Jade helps educate young people about thinking through whether “it’s a smart risk or a stupid risk, because things happen so quickly and you can’t take them back.”
Chris had just finished university and was on his last day of holidays before starting his summer job when he and his girlfriend went to join friends for a day of waterskiing and “fun in the sun.” They picked up snacks and beer and were heading back on the short drive to the campground – so short that Chris believes he may not have worn his seatbelt. Busy chatting, he didn’t notice the freight train approaching the unmarked crossing into the campground in time. The train crashed into his car and Chris was thrown 20 metres, breaking his back on the doorframe on the way out. Chris is paralyzed from the waist down and suffered slight head injuries. He tells audiences he wasn’t reckless in trying to beat the train – “Fact is, I was careless.” But no longer. “I play hard but I play safe. I learned the hard way that life is too fragile not to take precautions.”
Rob was out for a Sunday bike ride with friends when he and a friend came across a jump set up in the forest terrain. Rob tried it, having never attempted the jump before, and messed up the landing when he took off. Rob fell off the bike and broke his back, rendering him paralyzed from the waist down.
Feeling “on top of the world” after playing on his high school’s winning football team and in his graduating year, Ian was on Christmas holidays when he went snowboarding with a friend. He had snowboarded only a couple of times before and was borrowing a board he was thinking of buying from a friend. He admits he couldn’t even make it to the bottom of a hill without falling. But this day, after a couple of minor and uneventful falls, Ian and his friend decided it was time to try for some “big air”. He tried to do a flip off a jump in the snowboard park but landed on his head, breaking his neck. Ian is now paralyzed from the chest down. He wants to help students understand it is possible to get seriously hurt doing a fun activity like snowboarding. “I never thought about it when I was that age. I never thought I could get hurt.”
A self-described “hands-on guy” happily employed in construction and months from marrying his fiancée, Joey was heavily into riding motocross bikes with his friends. He always wore the gear – helmet, kneepads, chest protector, kidney belt, riding boots and gloves, and realized later, “I was thinking I was invincible with my gear on.” One summer day, Joey was dirt-biking with friends and a couple of others he didn’t know, on rural trails just over the Ontario border in Quebec. Joey got into the lead and was speeding up a hill when he hit a rock protruding from the ground, sending him flying off his bike into a large rock face on the side of the trail. Joey broke his back and is paralyzed from the waist down. He believes his gear saved him from even more serious harm. He reminds students, “You’re not invincible. There’s a limit to everything. I pushed mine too far.”
A headstrong, ambitious 17-year-old with an active social life and several part-time jobs, Susan was training one night for her new passion of road cycling. She was in a bad mood after arguing with her mother and refused to put on her helmet, even though her coach told her to do so. After a false start by the first rider, an impatient Susan was the first to head out on a timed interval race. Determined to get a great time,she kept her head down, following the white line on the side of the rural highway near Saskatoon. As a result, Susan didn’t see the parked semi-trailer truck at theside of the road and slammed right into it. The impact broke her neck, paralyzing her from the neck down. She says of her life today, “Get frustrated or move on – it’s often a choice but one I wouldn’t have had to make if I had only looked up that night.”
On his way home from school, Sean and his friends cut through an active rail yard, a popular short cut in his small town. Many in the community had been "train hopping" for years but no serious injuries had occurred to this point. Sean and friends often climbed through the slow-moving trains to get through, so they didn’t have to wait for the whole train to pass. On this day, that’s exactly what Sean decided to do. While crossing between the moving train cars, Sean’s foot slipped, his backpack got caught and he was swung underneath the train. Sean lost his left arm and leg and has spent several years learning to adapt to his permanent injuries.
After completing his second year of an applied justice degree and looking forward to enlisting as a full-time member of the Canadian Forces, Kyle was heading out for a summer job interview near his Calgary home. As usual, he hopped onto his bike wearing an iPod but no helmet. Kyle didn’t bother to look over his bike before starting out and he admits he rarely had the bike tuned up.That day, while cycling down a steep dirt hill near the bike path, he found his brakes wouldn’t work. Kyle lost control and fell off his bike, breaking his back and injuring his head. He calls the three months he was in hospital the worst time of his life. Kyle is now a paraplegic, living in Vancouver. “It’s very complicated living in a wheelchair,” he tells students, “and I just want you to know how difficult it is from your chair and not from mine.”
An active young girl, Melissa (Missy), 12, was out shopping with her mother one night. On the way home, they passed the scene of a car crash and Missy told her Mom she felt lucky nothing bad like that hadever happened to them. Minutes later they crested the top of a hill and a drunk driver crossed the median and hit her mother’s car head on. Her mother was killed at the scene and Missy broke her back, leaving her paralyzed from the belly down, while the drunk driver was uninjured. Missy was in the hospital a few days before her father broke the news to her of her mother’s death. Missy relates to students what it was like watching her twin sister grow up, a continual reminder of what her life might have been like had she not been injured. Missy talks to students about how their decisions on risk can affect others, not just themselves.
While at an end of summer party, Jesse decided to try ecstasy and cocaine. After taking the drugs, he left the party alone on his skateboard. In his altered state, Jesse climbed on a house roof and jumped off. When Jesse woke up and couldn’t move, he started yelling loudly until he was finally discovered and brought to the hospital. Jesse had broken his back and will never walk again.
Anita was looking forward to a career as either a physiotherapist or chiropractor. She and her twin sister went for one last trip of the season to the cottage after graduating university. On their way home, they noticed the smell of burning rubber and after pulling over, they stopped at a gas station. The attendant told them their tire treads were low but should get them home okay, but they should then replace their tires. Further on, the tire blew on the highway and Anita’s sister lost control of the car. They went off the road and the car flipped. Anita broke her neck and sustained quadriplegic injuries, while her sister had minor injuries. Anita realized afterwards they hadn’t kept their car well maintained and that continuing to drive on badly worn tires led to their devastating crash.
With only some roofing experience, Jake’s landlord asked him and his friend to replace the shingles on the roof of the house they rented. If they fixed the roof, they would get a free month's rent - sounded like a good deal to them! He knew it was unsafe and illegal to roof without a harness, but harnesses could get in the way of completing the work quickly so Jake and his roommate chose not to wear them. While setting the last shingle, Jake stood up too quickly from a squatting position and got a head rush. Due to his proximity to the edge of the roof, he fell. Jake is now a quadriplegic.
For 48 years, Ned Levitt led a charmed life. He was a partner in a successful law firm, and he and his wife, Cheryl, were the parents of three beautiful and talented daughters who shared their enthusiasm for sports and the cottage. Then on Aug. 30, 1995, stepping off a curb to cross the street while out for a jog, his beautiful daughter Stacey was hit and killed by a car. Ned is a presenter for No Regrets Live for Parents.
Chris survived his first brush with serious injury when he drove after a couple drinks and crashed his car. His childhood friend broke his back and landed in a wheelchair but Chris had just cuts and bruises. A police officer later told the guilt-ridden 18-year-old some of the worst crashes he’d attended to were caused by people who had drunk only a little, enough to impair their judgment but not enough to make them drive extra slowly or cautiously. Having learned his lesson, Chris later often acted as a designated driver for friends. One night, he left his car at home and was drinking heavily at a party. He accepted a ride home from a driver he wrongly thought was sober. The driver veered off the road, bounced off a house and landed against a tree. Chris was lying down in the back seat, unbuckled, and the crash left him a quadriplegic. Chris tells students, “The reason I am here today is because I have made all the bad choices so that you don’t have to. Please learn from my mistakes because if I can help prevent one needless injury, that will help me cope.”
Eric was a member of the military. “We take risks but we always made it safe.” He had ridden motorcycles since age 15 but it had been some years since he’d owned one. Eric bought a new cruiser and took a motorcycle safety course to sharpen his skills. He was on the first group ride of the year, with a couple of experienced friends and their children. Eric had his friend’s 11-year-old boy on the back of his bike as they travelled down a winding country road in Nova Scotia. A pickup truck veered into Eric’s lane and he knew he couldn’t get out of the way in time. He reached back and grabbed the boy’s hand to throw them both clear. Eric’s leg had to be amputated and his passenger sustained 44 breaks in his leg. While the boy recovered, Eric now uses an above-the-knee prosthetic. He tells students, “I would have moments in my own house where I was trapped in my living room with no main floor bathroom. My own family would have to take care of my bathroom needs. Think about your parents being in that position – or you – where they would have to take care of you.”
Nine years ago, Fernando was on a road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas with his wife and daughter. They were hit head-on after a pickup truck blew a tire in the oncoming lane. Fernando was sleeping in the back seat when the crash occurred and wasn’t wearing his seatbelt properly. Fernando broke his neck and suffered major abdominal injuries. Now he is quadriplegic.
When Sheri-Lyn was only 18, her life was changed in an instant. She went out with friends to a new club in Mississauga. There they met some guys who later offered them a ride home (the girls had originally planned on taking a taxi home). The car was a four-seater but all seven of them squeezed in. While driving on the highway at about 140 km/h, the driver, who had been drinking earlier in the night, lost control and the car flipped seven times. Sheri-Lyn was ejected from the car. Sheri spent many months in hospital and rehabilitation and is now paralyzed from the chest down.
Krystle was injured at age 13 when she was coming home from the beach with family friends. Her injury resulted from a number of factors. First, Krystle was wearing her seatbelt incorrectly, with the chest strap under her arm instead of across her shoulder. Second, the driver of the car she was in failed to signal when making a lane change. Finally, the driver of the car behind was on his cellphone, which meant he missed their car changing lanes. He hit the car Krystle was in and it spun into oncoming traffic and was hit again. Krystle broke her back and is now paralyzed from the waist down. She helps young people “to think before they get behind the wheel and to see what could happen. I want to make them think twice before doing an activity, before they take the risk.”
Teri was working full-time, modelling part-time and “partying five nights a week” when she took her first international trip to Australia to visit a friend. After she and her girlfriend had drunk a few alcoholic coolers, they hopped into her friend’s car to drive to the beach. Zooming along at about 140 km/h on a gravel road, her friend crashed the car on a hairpin turn. The car flipped end over end three times and Teri felt the roof come down on her head, before she lost consciousness. She spent weeks recovering in Australia, where she learned she would never walk again due to quadriplegia, before she was able to return to her Vancouver home. Teri says she’s lost a lot but she looks towards the future and now understands that “some risks are just not worth taking… I never drive recklessly and always speak up if I feel uncomfortable or unsafe.”
Logan Van Dyk
In his final year of high school, Logan fell in with a new group of friends he now realizes was the wrong crowd. After barely scraping through his last year of school, he was living with a friend after a falling out with his family. One day, the friend borrowed Logan’s bike, returning to tell him he’d found a great jump in a construction site that Logan should try. Logan was dubious but he acted on peer pressure and attempted a vey high jump on his mountain bike that he isn’t sure to this day his friend had actually tried. He didn’t set up his landing properly and his shocks bottomed out, sending his nose into his chest and breaking his neck. Logan is now living at home with his family and is a quadriplegic. He tells young people, “I’m not telling you to live your life in fear of getting injured. I am simply telling you to listen to your gut feeling before you do something that could potentially harm you, no matter how much your friends tease you or call you names. Because I have learned that being cool for a moment is not worth a life of regret.”
Blair was always a risk-taker, favouring extreme sports and even a high-risk occupation as a structural steel ironworker. He was at a friend’s cottage at the end of a glorious Canada Day filled with canoeing, fishing, fireworks, and topped off by a night at a club dancing and “drinking far too much.” Under a starry sky, alone on the edge of his friend’s dock at 2:30 in the morning, Blair pondered whether to dive or walk into the water. Unfortunately, he chose to dive and broke his neck in the unfamiliar, shallow water. Submerged, he couldn’t move his limbs to swim to the surface and after a couple gulps of water, Blair lost consciousness. He was discovered 10 minutes later and after CPR, was “brought back from the dead” although he’s now quadriplegic. “I believe that the most important key to life is taking the time to stop and thoroughly think about the choices that you do make,” Blair tells students. “Try not to just think about the moment, think about what the outcome might be based upon the choice that you do make.
George was a fun-loving, reckless youth who says his mother’s strong religious convictions suggested to him that God would protect him, no matter what he did. Having grown up in rural New Brunswick, George loved to work with wood and became a home-renovation contractor. Among his many work tools, George bought a set of climbing spikes, which he used to climb and to remove trees that had to be cut from the top down. One mild fall night, George went raccoon hunting with an experienced hunter friend and his dog. At one point, the dog chased a raccoon up a tree but the men couldn’t spot it. Against his friend’s advice, George climbed a tree to look for the raccoon but he wasn’t wearing his usual climbing spurs and safety belt. A branch broke and George fell at least 15 feet to the ground, landing on a large rock, breaking his neck and fracturing his skull. Now paralyzed from the chest down, George tells students, “I’m not here today to moan. I’m here to try and prevent any one of you from taking stupid risks and ending up in my place.”
Youth Advisory Team
The Youth Advisory Team is made up of six outstanding youth from across Canada who are passionate about injury prevention. The YAT help to shape the No Regrets program and contribute to special Parachute projects throughout the year. The YAT meet every other month via webinar to hear Parachute updates, receive new projects, and provide feedback on the work they are doing.
- Nolan Benesh
- Jenny Cho
- Elize Clarke
- Caitlin Dobratz
- Emma Fricker
- Anya Mayoss-Hurd
Is your community concerned about pedestrian safety and unsafe driving? Are you looking for a way to engage community members to create a pedestrian-friendly community?
Become a Parachute Pace Car Community!
What is Pace Car?
The Pace Car program is a locally delivered, nation-wide program that focuses on raising awareness around speed reduction in the community, especially in school zones and pedestrian-dense areas.
The Pace Car program involves seeking out community members to sign up as Pace Car drivers. Participants will sign the Pace Car Supporters Pledge and proudly display the official Pace Car emblems on their car window.
Many Pace Cars work to calm traffic throughout a neighbourhood - the more people who participate, the better it works!
What is the Pace Car Pledge?
Residents agree to drive the posted speed limit. Cars become a "mobile speed bump" slowing speeding traffic behind them. Traffic is not only calmed on one street, but throughout a neighbourhood. Drivers also agree to be more aware of, and courteous to, other road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists, and to minimize car use by using active transportation (walking, cycling, etc.), using transit, and car-pooling.
To reduce the chance of road rage, it's important for Pace Car drivers to display the Pace Car stickers so other motorists know why they are driving courteously. If someone urgently wishes to pass, a Pace Car driver simply pulls over and lets them by.
Register and Order FREE Resources:
Register here to order free window clings for your Pace Car community. Access all of the program tools and resources online- just scroll down to the bottom of this page!
Pace Car Grants 2016-2020
Parachute awarded grants ($1000 each) to three “Pace Car Communities” across Canada. These grants will be used to help organize launch events, promote the program and resources, and conduct an evaluation of the Pace Car Program in the community from September to May, over a four-year period. This will allow us to measure the long-term impact of the program.
Congratulations to the following three Pace Car Grant Recipients:
- Town of Alberton, Alberton, PEI
- Safe Communities Assiniboia, Assiniboia, SK
- City of Vernon, Vernon, BC
Why Minimize Car Use?
When not in cars, communities can reclaim the streets by using them more often for walking, cycling and neighbourhood socializing. Making streets feel more like outdoor living rooms encourages drivers to act as guests.
The simple presence of people in the street helps reduce traffic speed.
Good for the Body & Environment
Reducing car use also reduces both speed and volume. This makes streets more livable, and frees up road and parking spaces that can be recycled into valuable community spaces including: pedestrian and cycle boulevards, green spaces for safe play, and a creative combination of shops and residences that can enhance a neighbourhood.
Save Time & Money
Most people can significantly reduce their car use (usually by 20 per cent to 50 per cent) by organizing their travel more efficiently. The rewards are a saving in time and money.
Collisions are not accidents
Our local streets are becoming speedways. Children are particularly vulnerable because they face traffic threats that exceed their understanding and abilities. Children’s physical and mental capacities are still developing well into their teens and they are often unable to make safe judgments about pedestrian safety. Drivers must be prepared for children to act like children. Reducing vehicle speed has been proven to be effective in preventing crashes and reducing the severity of injuries. A pedestrian struck by a car traveling at 50km/hr is eight times more likely to be killed than a pedestrian struck at 30 km/hr. At a speed of 30 km/hr, vehicles and pedestrians are able to co-exist with relative safety, which means that drivers have sufficient time to stop for pedestrians, and pedestrians can make better crossing decisions.
Create a Buzz in Your Community about Pace Car
Use the tools below to inform your community about this initiative, organize Pace Car volunteers, promote the program in your community and reach out to local media.
- Pace Car Community Guide
- Pace Car Supporters Pledge
- Pace Car sign-up sheet
- Pace Car Promotional Poster
- Pace Car Promotional Flyer
- Pace Car Media Advisory Template
- Pace Car Media Release Template
- Pace Car Community Walkabout Guide
- Pace Car Community Walkabout Tool - Urban
- Pace Car Community Walkabout Tool - Rural
- How to Improve Pedestrian Safety Guide
- What's Speed Got To Do With It Handout