MADD Kimberley/Cranbrook (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) officially launched its first ever red ribbon campaign in the two communities on November 1.
Katryna Sigurdson, community leader for the local branch, said MADD will be distributing millions of red ribbons throughout Canada this holiday season, and now they will be available in Kimberley and Cranbrook as well.
“Our mission is to stop impaired driving and it is possible,” she said. “By displaying the MADD Canada ribbon you make the commitment to drive safe and sober.”
Sigurdson said her hope is for all Canadians to get involved simply by tying a ribbon onto their vehicle, backpack or purse and for people to get involved in their community’s safety by contacting the RCMP if they spot a potentially impaired driver.
Sigurdson was joined at the launch event by Mayor Wayne Stetski, RCMP Cpl. Pat Prefontaine and Councillor Gerry Warner.
Prefontaine welcomed the local MADD branch’s work as the police officers are on the front lines of reducing drunk drivers.
“We’re happy to support this campaign,” he said. “We too share this ongoing effort to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road.”
Like Sigurdson, he encouraged the public to come forward if they spot a potential impaired driver.
“We’ll accept the information however you can get it to us,” he said.
Stetski talked about the penalties of being caught drunk driving from the fines to the emotional penalty of injuring or killing another member of the community. He quoted a Transport Canada report that said 40,000 Canadians have been killed in alcohol related incidents since 1982 – but the toll could be much higher had MADD Canada not stepped in 25 years ago. Transport Canada predicts the toll could have been as high as 70,000 had MADD not started doing public awareness campaigns.
“Don’t drink and drive are four of the most important words we will ever hear,” Stetski said. “City council is very pleased to support the work of MADD.”
Prefontaine encouraged those planning on enjoying the holiday season with alcohol to find another way home via a designated driver, a taxi or other modes of transportation like walking or public transit.
The campaign runs from November 1 to the first Monday after New Years Day. Ribbons are available by calling Sigurdson at (250) 432-9590 or visiting the MADD Canada website. They are also available at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman office, city hall, Drive FM, B104 and Bear’s Eatery.
Sigurdson ended her address by sharing the MADD Canada Christmas wish that the season passes by without a single drunk driving death.