Kelowna fire truck proudly wearing the MADD flag at the launch of Project Red Ribbon


Victims of impaired driving spoke Saturday at the Kelowna Fire Department to emphasize the importance of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada's (MADD) red ribbon campaign.

The holiday season is beginning soon, and MADD is putting forward Project Red Ribbon to remind citizens not to drink and drive. You can tie your red ribbon to your car keys or vehicle, upload the picture to social media for awareness, and donate to MADD all to keep our roads safer.


Inspector Gord Stewart, Acting Mayor Luke Stack, MLA Norm Letnick, MP Ron Cannan, and Deputy Fire Chief Lou Wilde tying ribbons on a fire engine


Tina Harder, a volunteer with MADD, spoke of her nephew being hit and killed by an impaired driver. According to her, the man kept on driving, hit the meridian, got out, and had a cigarette while he watched the emergency responders. It's difficult for her to even imagine what her sister went through. “I get to tell my children and my grandchildren that I love them every day,” said Harder. “I can't imagine not being be able to tell 'I love you' to my kids.”

Eva Gainer, Director of Victim Support for MADD and an impaired driving victim, talked about her tragic experience. “I still don't remember the crash or the aftermath that turned my life upside down,” Gainer began. She was seriously injured in a crash more than 14 years ago, a crash that both her husband Don and her youngest son Brian (who was only 11 years old) didn't survive. Her family friend was also seriously injured in the collision.

The driver in that case had both drank alcohol and taken prescription medication. Gainer said that man “ended up being thrown out of the Silverado truck when he hit us head on and killed us. Yes, I say killed us, because a big part of me died that day.” She was told that the man wasn't wearing a seatbelt.


Eva Gainer talking about her experience as a victim of impaired driving.


Inspector Gord Stewart of the Kelowna RCMP said that impaired driving is the number one criminal cause of death in Canada. It is also one of the most devastating and most preventable. Impaired driving incidents increase during holiday revelries, and as a result RCMP always increase both their checks and initiatives.

People will be able to get red ribbons to remind them and others not to drive impaired at all BC Liquor Stores and several other locations across Kelowna. The ribbons are mostly available after Remembrance Day so as not to take focus away from the veterans.

Not only can you wear a red ribbon, but you can also report any impaired driving you see by calling 9-1-1.

Source: Kelowna Now


Last updated on: 2014-11-17 | Link to this post