WITH the holiday season fast approaching, MADD Canada and its chapters and community leaders across the country are launching the Project Red Ribbon campaign to raise awareness about the risks of impaired driving and to honour victims and survivors.
Running from November 2 until January 4, Project Red Ribbon encourages motorists to always drive sober. During the campaign, MADD Canada’s chapters and community leaders distribute red ribbons and red ribbon car decals for the public to display as a symbol of their commitment to sober driving. The ribbons also serve as a powerful tribute to the thousands of victims killed or injured each year in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs.
“While the usual holiday gatherings and celebrations may be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the risk for impaired driving remains,” said MADD Canada National President Jaymie-Lyne Hancock on Monday. “Our red ribbons serve as a reminder to everyone that if you are going to be consuming alcohol, cannabis or other drugs, plan ahead for a sober ride home. Driving impaired is just never worth the risk.”
Bill Blair, federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, shared a message of support for the Project Red Ribbon launch. “The dangers and consequences associated with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be fatal. Today, we stand together to remember and honour the victims and survivors of impaired driving,” Blair said. “Every Canadian driver is responsible for doing their part in keeping our roads safe. If you choose to consume alcohol or cannabis over the Holiday season, stay home and stay safe. It could save a life.”
Hancock knows the devastation and tragedy of impaired driving all too well. Her brother D.J. was killed by an impaired driver in 2014.
“No one gets behind the wheel thinking they may cause a crash that kills or injures someone,” she said. “But it happens all too often. Our red ribbons remind people that they can prevent these tragedies from happening.”
To see Hancock’s special video message about Project Red Ribbon, visit: https://youtu.be/2_H-qP2c0x8
Project Red Ribbon will look different this year as well, with in-person events and activities limited due to the pandemic. Where health and safety guidelines allow, MADD Canada volunteers will be out in the community distributing red ribbons, participating in checkstops and other events. In other communities where health and safety guidelines prevent this kind of activity, volunteers will be distributing ribbons by mail and through participating retailers. The campaign will also include activities on social media to share the sober driving message.
MADD Canada is asking Canadians to get their red ribbon or red ribbon car decal (through the MADD Canada website at www.madd.ca, by contacting 1-800-665-6233 or firstname.lastname@example.org, through local Chapters and Community Leaders, and at participating sponsor outlets) and then:
* Tie it! Put the ribbon on your car, your purse or briefcase, your bike or your backpack to show your commitment to sober driving.
* Wear it! Show your support by picking a day to wear RED in honour of Project Red Ribbon.
* Show it and share it! Show your spirit and share pictures of you wearing red or displaying your red ribbon on social media. Tag MADD Canada and use the hashtag #ProjectRedRibbon. (Follow on social media: Facebook – facebook.com/maddcanada.ca; Twitter – @MADDCanada; Instagram – madd_canada.)
* Live it! Never drive impaired and always plan ahead for a sober ride home. We can all help prevent impaired driving this holiday season.
Anyone who wishes to support Project Red Ribbon with a donation can do so online through the website, by calling 1-800-665-6233 or by texting “RIBBON” to 45678 (a one-time $10 donation is added to the donor’s cell phone bill and payable to his or her service provider.)
However you are celebrating this holiday season, make a sober ride home your priority. Call an Uber or a cab, arrange a designated driver, take public transit or stay the night. Those looking for a safe, sober and reliable ride home at the push of a button can check out Uber, MADD Canada’s Official Designated Driving App. For more information, visit: https://www.uber.com/ca/en/.