MADD Calgary launched its annual Project Red Ribbon Campaign against impaired driving on Wednesday.
For the next month, the organization will be handing out red ribbons as symbols of safe and sober driving.
They’re also a reminder of the carnage caused by drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking.
Calgarians are asked to tie the ribbons to vehicles, back packs, purses – anything they want – to show their support for the campaign.
“We want you to tie it, wear it, show it, share it and live it,” Karen Harrison, MADD Calgary chapter president, said at the official launch.
“Someone makes a decision to get behind the wheel impaired, and it is never OK to do so. Impaired driving is not an accident.”
Dozens of first responders, including police, firefighters and paramedics attended the campaign launch.
Calgary police Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey spoke about the difficult task police have to face following fatal crashes.
“I think what really impacts our officers and probably all first responders, is dealing with the loved ones, when we have to go and tell them that they’ve lost their loved one to a crash. That is the most impactful thing ever,” Stacey said.
Dan and Brenda Lavallee, whose daughter Jillian was killed by a drunk driver in May 2015, spoke at the event and announced their support for MADD.
“You know we’re never going to get our daughter back, but if we can save others, then her death will have additional significance to countless families in Canada,” said Dan Lavellee.
“This isn’t a trade-off we sought, but we are now committed to this cause.”
According to MADD, on average, every day in Canada, four people are killed and 175 injured in crashes caused by impaired drivers.
The organization continues to call for stiffer penalties for drunk drivers.
Project Red Ribbon runs from Nov. 1 to Jan 2, 2017.