Cara Filler has spent 17 years speaking at more than 2,200 student assemblies around the world about traffic safety, risky behaviours and peer pressure.
She comes to Hatzic secondary May 29 as a part of ICBC’s Lower Mainland grad season safety blitz, to tell young people how life can change in the blink of an eye.
It was the day after their birthday in August, 1994, and Filler and her twin sister had just graduated from high school. She was driving behind her sister on Boundary Road in Vancouver when she watched in horror as her sister’s boyfriend took the car up to three times over the speed limit, lost control and crashed.
The boyfriend received a $150 speeding ticket. Her sister went to the cemetery.
Cara began speaking to high school students two months after the accident, first to her own school in Richmond, and then to others.
“I wanted to make some sense of what had happened and hopefully encourage other people to stand up for themselves, speak up for themselves, drive safer so it wouldn’t happen to them, too,” she said.
Filler said everybody makes poor driving decisions sometimes, but the key is to recognize the mistake and change the behaviour.
Although things like graduated licensing and stricter rules for drivers under 25 has helped, she said it’s more about attitude.
“It’s hard to look at legislation as the be all, end all, when it’s really behaviour,” she said.
Filler speaks at Hatzic secondary May 29 at 1:45 p.m.