Drivers can expect to see Quinte West’s Vetran’s Skyway Bridge shining red from November to January in support of the MADD red ribbon campaign.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving has initiated its annual red ribbon campaign, raising awareness of the dangers of impaired driving in the Quinte area and how many are affected when people decide to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Those who adopt the red ribbon are making a commitment to drive sober.
“In the past, people would tie their ribbons to their car antennas to show their support of safe driving,” explains Allen Magee, MADD Quinte branch president. “These days you’ll see people tie them to their car door handles, their mirror or on their purse. Anything to show their awareness.”
Throughout Canada, Magee says four people are killed and 175 people injured every day from impaired drivers. He adds while Quinte’s number of drunk drivers might be lower than in other cities, one is too many.
“It’s the busiest time of year for most social calendars and when impaired driving is particularly high,” Magee explains.
Magee says ride share programs are a great option for getting home without endangering the roads. Operation Red Nose Quinte, a free locally-run designated driver service, begins at the end of November to give people other options for getting home safely during the winter holidays.
Boxes of the red ribbons will be popping up in stores in the area, and MADD members will be at Belleville’s Metro this weekend handing them out and accepting donations to help raise awareness in the Quinte area. They will also be at the Metro in Trenton the following weekend. The campaign runs throughout the dead of winter, reminding people to stay vigilant throughout the holiday season.
“Always plan ahead,” says Magee. “If you’re going to be drinking or using cannabis, make sure you plan a safe ride home or plan to stay over. And never get in a car with someone under the influence of something. And if you think you see someone who’s not driving sober, call 911.”