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Cobequid MADD’s Red Ribbon Campaign celebrating 10 years locally

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Truro Daily News
November 12, 2013

BIBLE HILL – MADD Cobequid hopes to see many cars driving with red ribbons this holiday season.

The annual Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Red Ribbon Campaign officially began nationally on Nov. 1. MADD Cobequid, the local chapter, chose to wait until after Remembrance Day to launch the initiative, which was done at the RCMP station in Bible Hill on Tuesday.

“It heightens awareness and shows commitment against drunk driving and (encourages) people to drive safe and sober,” said MADD Cobequid president Amanda Morrisey, adding the campaign is in its 10th year here and runs until Jan. 6.

“It’s a necessary message, especially with the holidays. It’s a time for celebration, not for mourning. Taking the extra time to place a ribbon on your vehicle reminds others and is an example to others.”

Morrisey admitted the number of victims of impaired drivers “has not changed” in 10 years. It’s estimated 1,600 people are killed a year in Canada and thousands more are injured, she said.

But there’s good news, Morrisey added, saying those numbers are not rising and “more than half of impaired drivers who are caught are caught as a result of people using the 911 program to call and report drunk drivers.”

Susan MacAskill, chapter services manager for MADD in the Atlantic region, added impaired driving remains the “number one criminal cause of death in Canada” and the red ribbon campaign is a simple way to stand against impaired driving.

“It’s a simple but powerful message … and we long for the day the message won’t be needed any more. The ribbons are also a way to pay tribute to those affected by impaired drivers,” said MacAskill, whose father, Donald King of Walton, was killed by an impaired driver about 20 years ago.

MacAskill added “millions” of ribbons will be distributed throughout Canada during the holidays. Staff Sgt. John Berry, with the Bible Hill RCMP, said “education and enforcement” make a difference.

“My observation, without looking at statistics, is that the number of impaired drivers over Christmas seems to be in a lull. Campaigns do work,” but people need to take a stand against impaired driving “all the time” he said.

Ribbons are available at various stores throughout Colchester County and by calling MADD Cobequid at 843-3111. The ribbons are free.

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