A dozen volunteers whose lives have been altered by a drinking and driving tragedy helped launch the annual MADD Canada red ribbon campaign at the Macdonald Bridge tolls on November 16.
Halifax Police Chief Dan Kinsella was on hand and assured them that the problem of drinking and driving is taken very seriously. He said the bridge setting was appropriate because bridge employees are diligent about calling 911 when they suspect an impaired driver.
“And they see a lot of traffic,” he said.
Project Red Ribbon is MADD Canada’s annual awareness campaign to promote sober driving during the holiday season. It is the busiest time of year on most social calendars and the risk for impaired driving is high.
The red ribbon is a symbol of a commitment to never drive impaired and helps keep the sober driving message top of mind for all who see it. Thousands of red ribbons and red ribbon car decals are distributed to Canadians between November 1 to January 3.
The two-hour bridge kickoff is mostly about awareness, but loose change was collected from the 8,000 cars that passed during the time. In addition to supporting the initiative with manpower and safety training required for the volunteers to be in the toll lanes, HHB made a financial donation to the effort.
MADD Canada and our Chapters and Community Leaders across the country will be distributing thousands of red ribbons and red ribbon car decals for Canadians to display on their vehicles, key chains, purses, briefcases and backpacks.
Money raised by the campaign supports programs and services for victims/survivors, public awareness, legal research, Chapters and Community Leaders, youth, and anti-impaired driving technology.
Despite federal and provincial/territorial laws and penalties, police enforcement and awareness efforts, and despite the risk of crash, death and injury, Canadians are still getting behind the wheel impaired. Every hour in Canada, an average of 10 federal criminal charges and provincial short-term licence suspensions are laid for alcohol or drug-impaired driving