MADD’s getting its message seen
Launches red ribbon campaign
The government of P.E.I. has teamed up with MADD Canada to push road safety messages to the forefront of motorists’ minds.
Drive Safe-Drive Sober messages are now displayed on roadside message boards at eight locations across the province The message boards, normally used to advise motorists of bridgework and road closures, were taken out of storage in time for the launch of MADD Canada’s 2017 Red Ribbon campaign.
Susan MacAskill, MADD Canada Atlantic Region Chapter services manager, explained during the provincial launch of the Red Ribbon campaign last week at the West Prince RCMP barracks, that wearing MADD’s red ribbon “is a symbol to one’s commitment to always drive sober, and it sends a clear message to everyone that it will never be OK to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs… and a tribute to those from Prince Edward Island and across the country who have been killed or injured in an impaired driving crash, and their loved ones who are also affected.”
“We long for the day when that message won’t be needed anymore, but unfortunately we’re not there yet,” she said
referring to statistics that indicate 1,250 to 1,500 people are killed and 63,000 are injured in impaired-related crashes every year in Canada. MacAskill said the Red Ribbon campaign, now in its 30th year, is always launched in a lead-up to Christmas, the busiest time of the year on most social calendars, when the risk of impaired driving is particularly high.
MADD West Prince Chapter member-at-large, Roth Goth, said the message boards extend beyond impaired driving.
“It’s about making the public roadways safer for all users and reducing injuries and deaths.
“It’s about safety awareness and influencing behaviours for
those of us who have become complacent about driving. It’s about…wearing your seatbelt, putting down your cellphone, turning on your lights, slowing down in school zones … not tailgating, using your signals, stopping for school buses, securing your load, moving over for stopped police vehicles and stopping in all directions for emergency vehicles, and leaving ample space when passing bicycles or pedestrians,” advised Goth, a drivers education instructor.
Goth said MADD P.E.I. is hoping the pilot message board project will lead to a rollout of a nationwide program. Rural and Regional Development Minister Pat Murphy,
at the Red Ribbon launch, expressed his government’s commitment to providing further deterrence to impaired driving “These senseless deaths and injuries are totally, 100 per cent, preventable.”
Prior to a MADD Canada and RCMP traffic stop on the highway in front of the West Prince RCMP barracks, MADD West Prince volunteer Trudy Betts shared how her family was changed forever when her 16-year-old daughter was struck and killed 24 years ago by a driver who subsequently failed two breathalyzer tests. MADD is asking Islanders to take a red ribbon “and to tie it, wear it, show it, share it and live it,” said MacAskill.
Vice-president of the West Prince chapter of MADD Canada, Trudy Betts, and Cst. Al McGrath from West Prince RCMP, look on as Rural and Regional Development Minister Pat Murphy passes out red ribbons to motorists. MADD and RCMP conducted a traffic stop...
Participating in a ribbon-cutting for the West Prince launch of MADD Canada’s 2017 Red Ribbon campaign are, from left, Cst. Al McGrath, West Prince RCMP; Susan MacAskill, MADD Canada Atlantic Region Chapter services manager; Trudy Betts, MADD’s West...