Beaumont residents ride for awareness
Published Saturday, April 14, 2012 6:28PM MDT
Friends and family of three Beaumont young adults who were killed in a suspected drunk driving crash last winter participated in a 24 hour bike-a-thon over the weekend.
The bike-a-thon began Friday afternoon and went non-stop through the night. Teams made up of Beaumont Composite High School students and members of the local business community pedaled stationary bikes to raise funds and awareness for Mother Against Drunk Driving.
The event was held at Beaumont Composite, where two of the three young men who died last November had gone to school. 18-year-olds Bradley Arsenault, Kole Novak and 22-year-old Thaddeus Lake were killed when the vehicle they were in was struck by a suspected drunk driver.
Family members of one of the young men killed say they are glad to see the issue of drinking and driving getting attention.
"It's brought the awareness of drunk driving and the horrific consequences right to the forefront of their minds so we're so happy to be part of this event," Kole Novak's father Zane told CTV News Saturday.
Organizers of the non-stop bike event said part of the goal was to make sure young people know there is never a good reason to get behind the wheel after drinking.
Linda Mix-Kondratski, is a Youth Outreach Coordinator she says it important to make young people realize that there are always other options out there than drinking and driving, and that getting home safely has got to be their choice.
Pedalers were upbeat Saturday as they were reaching the 24 hour mark, Grade 11 student Taylor O'Flynn said he'd figured out a few secrets as the hours went by, "Changing up the tension in the bike and shifting your position on it so you don't get too sore helps."
Zane Novak said he hopes tragedies like the crash that killed his son can be reduced, but for that to happen he says the laws on drinking and driving must be changed. "And the only way to do that is to have sentences or punishments that are so severe, be it losing your license for years, be it fines, be it imprisonment for being over .08 that you make a decision before you have the first drink".
The teams participating in the 24 hour event finished Saturday afternoon at 4pm, all the funds raised will go to MADD Canada.
With files from Amanda Anderson