By Wendy Elliott
MADD Canada's Project Red Ribbon awareness campaign is marking the 25th year of asking Canadians to show their support for the victims of impaired driving crashes.
MADD says that between 1,250 and 1,500 Canadians are killed and more than 63,000 are injured in impaired driving incidents each year.
Program supporters were out earlier this month in communities from Brooklyn, Hants County to Greenwood handing out red ribbons and calling for a sobriety pledge.
Valley spokesperson Susan MacAskill says volunteers get out each fall to remind drivers that deaths and injuries are senseless and completely preventable.
Senator Marjory LeBreton, leader of the government in the Senate, spoke at the national launch of the campaign on Nov. 1.
LeBreton, who lost her only daughter and first-born grandson to an impaired driver, has been a supporter of impaired driving legislation and enhanced victim's rights throughout her career.
"To me, this red ribbon is a symbol of both safety and the victim," LeBreton said. "If everyone takes one of these red ribbons and truly thinks of the message behind it and then makes the commitment to never drive impaired, imagine the impact it would have.”
In addition to the volunteers who help implement the red ribbon campaign throughout Canada, MADD Canada's biggest partner is the law enforcement community. The Valley branch also counts EHS as a stakeholder, MacAskill noted.
She added that statistics in Metro Halifax are now indicating that 60 per cent of impaired driving apprehensions are the result of calls from the public. MacAskill said police and MADD are renewing their call to have more people call 911 to report drivers they suspect are impaired.
“Public involvement is incredibly important,” said the Martock resident. “Drunk drivers are at risk to themselves and others.”
The Red Ribbon Campaign ends Jan. 1, 2013.