MADD launches Red Ribbon Campaign

The holiday season is just around the corner – and for many Calgarians it is a time to celebrate.

For some, that can mean sharing a drink with family and friends.

MADD is hoping its annual Red Ribbon Campaign will help convince festive drivers to find another way home, after a night of drinking and merriment.

The organization launched its annual campaign against drunk driving in Calgary Thursday morning, with the support of the Calgary Police Service, RCMP, Calgary Fire Department, Calgary EMS, Highway Patrol and Allstate Insurance.

From November 1 to January 6, volunteers will be distributing millions of red ribbons throughout the city. Volunteers used Thursday’s launch to remind Calgarians about the many options for a safe ride home – as well as some less desirable transportation methods, such as an ambulance, police car or even a hearse.

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This year in Calgary there have been 33 fatal collisions – 18 of which involved alcohol.

Impaired driving is the number one criminal cause of death in Canada. On average, four people are killed and 174 people are injured in our country each day.

During the launch on Thursday, Karen Harrison spoke about the painful loss of her brother, Tony. He was killed by a drunk driver in July 2012.

“Tony lost his life… for why?” Harrison asks. “He didn’t need to lose his life and every day we feel the consequence of that man’s decision and we will pay the price for the rest of our life.”

Just over a year later her family is still struggling to cope with the terrible loss.

“My message is to see red, get mad and get the message out that impaired driving is unacceptable,” Harrison says.

Police Chief Rick Hanson is also reminding drivers that enhanced checkstops are starting up again and police will be cracking down on anyone caught drinking and driving.

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