MADD’s get­ting its mes­sage seen

Launches red rib­bon cam­paign

Journal Pioneer - - PRINCE COUNTY - BY ERIC MCCARTHY

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.

ERIC MCCARTHY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

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 dur­ing the West Prince launch of MADD’s red rib­bon cam­paign.

ERIC MCCARTHY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

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 Prince chap­ter vice-pres­i­dent; Gra­ham Miner di­rec­tor of high­way safety; Staff Sergeant Ma­jor Hank Pol­lard; Ru­ral and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pat Mur­phy; P.E.I. CrimeStop­pers co-or­di­na­tor Scott Lun­dri­gan; West Prince MADD mem­bers Naiomi Camp­bell and Robert Goth; and RCMP Cpl. Lynn Jones.

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