MADD Canada’s longest running project is “Project Red Ribbon.” A symbolic red ribbon can be ordered via www.madd.ca For 28 years, MADD Canada has been asking everyone to “Tie it! Wear it! Show it! Share it! Live it!” on November 4th (and keep wearing the ribbon throughout the holiday season) in support of MADD Canada’s goal of ending drunk driving and supporting the countless victims of this despicable, violent crime. November 4th has been chosen because it is the beginning of the holiday season, when drunk driving is most prevalent. The red ribbon is an eye-catching reminder to us and anyone who asks why we are wearing the red ribbon. Drinking is an accepted part of our society, so I believe that we all, citizens and lawmakers, need to work together towards a solution to irresponsible drinking.
According to a Calgary Herald article by Douglas Quan, published on July 11, 2016, “Canada ranks No. 1 among 19 wealthy countries for percentage of roadway deaths tied to alcohol impairment, according to new study.” The study done by the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) found that 34% of motor vehicle fatalities in Canada are linked to alcohol impairment; the highest rate of any country involved in the CDC study. Andy Murie, CEO of MADD Canada is quoted as commenting: “The CDC does the best studies; their information is undebatable,” “It’s a wake-up call. We need to do more.”
Everyone who drinks is old enough to be able to plan ahead. We can plan to take a cab, choose a designated driver, take the LRT or bus or party at home. We can encourage our friends and family to do the same. If anyone notices a drunk driver attempting to drive or already driving impaired, we can call 911 immediately! I heard in the news recently that the staff of a Boston Pizza called the police when the staff could not prevent a drunk patron from getting in his car and driving away. The police dispatched a patrol car, but, unfortunately, the patron drove into an ongoing vehicle just blocks away, just before the police arrived. I saw the news footage of the victim being taken on a stretcher to an ambulance. On November 4th, I will wear a red ribbon for the victim of that accident and as a symbol of what we can all do to prevent further victims.