Karen Anthony-Burns ties a red ribbon onto a vehicle outside of the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday as part of the kickoff to Mothers against Drunk Driving’s Red Ribbon Campaign. The ribbons are “a small but powerful commitment to the wearer’s sober driving,” community leader for MADD Prince Albert Trina Cockle said.

Going into the holiday season, city police are upping efforts to snag impaired drivers by hosting road checks and safety blitzes through to January.

 Prince Albert Police Chief Troy Cooper announced the police effort during Saturday’s kickoff to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Red Ribbon Campaign.

As it stands, city police charge an average of about 220 to 250 people with impaired driving per year, with the city averaging about seven impaired driving-related incidents that result in death or serious injury per year.

Last weekend alone saw police charged three people with impaired driving, including one individual who lost control of their vehicle and hit a pole.

With every year adding more bereaved families in the community, MADD Prince Albert community leader Trina Cockle recognized that the simple message, “Do not drink and drive,” was not catching on.

The Red Ribbon Campaign is their first large-scale effort -- an initiative they kicked off with community leaders at the Art Hauser Centre with a Saturday ceremony.

Similar to the “Do not drink and drive” message, the Red Ribbon Campaign is a simple one.

Ribbons are tied onto vehicles as “a small but powerful commitment to the wearer’s sober driving and reminds us all that the deaths and injuries resulting from impairment related crashes are needless and preventable,” Cockle described.

“We all play a role in keeping our roads safe from drinking and driving.”

The MADD Prince Albert chapter started a few months ago and has already brought together more than 40 volunteers who Cockle describes as “dedicated and passionate about making a change in our community.”

These volunteers all recognize that “we all play a role in keeping our roads safe from drinking and driving,” she noted.

Aside from not driving while impaired, the main way in which residents can prevent more impaired driving fatalities is by participating in the Report Impaired Drivers program.

The program encourages people who see a vehicle they suspect is being operated by an impaired driver to pull over and call 911 -- something Cooper said Prince Albert drivers are doing about 1,000 times per year.

“In cases where we can’t locate that vehicle, we’re still able to send a registered letter to the homeowner telling them the person driving their vehicle at that time was suspected of driving impaired,” Cooper said.

The Red Ribbon Campaign will continue until Jan. 5, during which volunteers will both hand out ribbons and tie them around vehicles as a helpful reminder.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Prince Albert volunteers light candles in memory of local residents who have died as the result of impaired driving.

Daniel James Carter

It was only a week after Daniel James Carter’s 21st birthday when he was struck during a hit-and-run motor vehicle incident outside of a local bar in 2010.

Carter died in hospital a day later as a result of his injuries.

“I want people to remember Daniel, because once a (court) case is over, people do forget the victims,” a write-up by his mother, Karen Anthony-Burns reads.

“We all miss him and long for his presence at every family get together. I love him so much and will always miss our talks, his hugs and his laughter. As a mom you worry about your kids and one of the last things I remember him saying to me was ‘Don’t worry, mom. I’ll be fine.’”

“I hope that Daniel’s death has helped people in our community think twice about drinking and driving and making a plan for a safe ride home.”

Carter’s picture was one of many that covered a memorial table at Saturday’s Red Ribbon Campaign kickoff, and for which candles were lit in memoriam.

Source: Prince Albert Herald


Last updated on: 2014-12-23 | Link to this post