Saturday marked the start of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Red Ribbon campaign in Regina.
The campaign focuses on promoting sober driving throughout the holidays by reminding the public to plan a safe ride home during celebrations.
Red ribbons and red ribbon car decals will be distributed throughout the month of November until Jan. 3, 2022 by members of MADD Chapter Regina — along with members from local police, emergency services, community organizations and businesses — to remind people about their message over the next several weeks.
“MADD Canada’s red ribbons symbolize a person’s commitment to drive safe and sober, and also serve as a moving tribute to those killed or injured in impaired driving crashes,” MADD Canada said in a release.
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A handful of dignitaries were present for the afternoon launch, including Regina Mayor Sandra Masters.
The project is near and dear to Masters’ heart since she says she understands that the effects of impaired driving go beyond one person’s life.
“I know this because 31 years ago, my brother was killed in a drunk driving accident and there’s not a day goes by that my family and I don’t think of him,” Masters shared at Saturday’s event. “From my family to your volunteer organization, thank you so much for what you do.”
According to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), police in Saskatchewan catch more than 400 impaired drivers every month.
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Impaired driving also continues to be the leading cause of deaths on Saskatchewan roads, accounting for over 40 per cent of all road fatalities in the province.
“Every life cut short is tragic, but when it comes to impaired driving, it’s even more so because it’s completely unnecessary,” said Tyler McMurchy, media relations manager for SGI.
In addition, 2021 statistics from Regina police indicate officers are charging one impaired driver per day on average.
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Evan Bray, chief of police for the Regina Police Service, suggested there is still more work to do.
“Each and every day, numerous people are driving after consuming alcohol, and those have real, tangible effects in our community,” Bray said.
“The loss of life of life and serious injury is just one of them, but we know that families are torn apart, we know that communities are devastated.”
As part of the campaign, people can also make a $10 donation in support of Project Red Ribbon by texting “RIBBON” to 45678. The charge will be added to the person’s mobile phone bill.
Red ribbons and car decals are available from MADD Regina at [email protected] or by calling 1-800-665-6233 ext. 332.
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