'Project Red Ribbon', MADD Canada's campaign to promote sober driving during the holiday season, turns 25 this year.
"Twenty five years ago, MADD Canada started a campaign to encourage safe and sober driving during the holiday season," said MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk.
"We are so grateful for the strong support we have received from public officials, police, sponsors like Allstate Canada and, most importantly, the public, since that first campaign. People have embraced the red ribbon and wear it proudly as a sign of their commitment to sober driving."
This year's 'Project Red Ribbon' began November 1st and continues to the first Monday after New Year's, during which time MADD Canada volunteers are out in their communities distributing millions of red ribbons to the public to attach to their vehicles, key chains, purses, briefcases and backpacks.
The ribbon reminds people to plan ahead for a safe ride home if they're going to be drinking.
It also serves as a tribute to those who have been killed or injured in impairment-related crashes. Every year, between 1,250 and 1,500 people are killed and more than 63,000 are injured as a result of impaired driving.
Impaired driving can be prevented if everyone makes good, responsible, safe choices. To help make this holiday season safe from impaired driving:
- Plan ahead when you know you'll be drinking. Take a cab or bus, arrange a designated driver or plan to stay over.
- Never drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver.
- If you see a driver you suspect is impaired, call 911 to report it to police. The call you make could save a life.
Ms. Dubyk noted that the 25-year milestone is bittersweet. "We are proud of the impact this program has and we are proud of its longevity. We know it has made a difference. And yet, I believe everyone with MADD Canada would agree – we long for the day when we can retire this program because it is no longer needed – because impaired driving has been eliminated."
This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the partnership between MADD Canada and Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. Allstate Canada has been a generous supporter of MADD Canada's programs and is the Title Sponsor of the 2012 Project Red Ribbon campaign.
Anyone who wishes to support 'Project Red Ribbon'with a donation can do so online through the MADD website, by calling 1-800-665-6233 or by texting "madd" to 45678 (a $5 one-time donation is added to the donor's cell phone bill and payable to his or her service provider.)
Supporters can also make donations to MADD Canada through their smartphones, via a new mobile-optimized website. Visit www.madd.ca on an iPhone, Blackberry or Android smartphone to check it out.