As the holiday season is on its way, people are getting into the mood of celebrating it in spectacular style and planning various get-togethers and parties ahead of time.

It sounds wonderful as we all love parties and like to be in gatherings with relatives, friends and colleagues.

Though the holiday season is a perfect time for parties, we all need to be extra cautious while driving and must plan ahead for the road.

In our society, it is likely that people will drink alcohol whenever they go to social activities during this time of the year, which is fine as long as they don’t drive after drinking alcohol.

Impaired drivers are dangerous and pose a major threat to pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and properties.

According to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Canada, approximately four people— 1,460 annually— are killed and 175 are injured in impaired related crashes in Canada.

In addition, MADD Canada estimated about $20.62 billion of property loss or damage in the year 2010 in impaired driving related accidents.

This is the 26th year that MADD Canada has been running the Red Ribbon campaign— one of their largest countrywide campaigns in terms of awareness about the risks of impaired driving.

The mission of the campaign, which runs throughout the holiday season from Nov. 1 to Jan. 6 in partnership with Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, is to educate people and spread awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Supporters can tie ‘red ribbons’ on their vehicles, key chains, backpacks, and even purses. It reminds them of the importance of driving sober and honours all the victims who have been injured or killed in impaired related crashes.

I recently had a chance to speak with Angeliki Souranis, national president of MADD Canada Red Ribbon, and felt sorry when she told me of her loved one who lost his life when he got into the car of an impaired driver.

Souranis is now leading MADD Canada’s ‘red ribbon’ campaign of driving sober from the West Coast to the East Coast.

It’s not only alcoholics who always drink and drive. Sometimes non-alcoholics also go to parties and evening get-togethers with friends and then start drinking alcohol. It could be their first or one-time drink, but more likely they would sit behind the wheel after the drink.

I strongly support the Red Ribbon campaign and urge all partygoers during the holiday season to separate drinking from driving and plan ahead how you will get back home.

It’s a celebration time. Drivers need to be extra cautious and fully focused on the road to make sure everyone reaches home safely to enjoy and celebrate with his/her family.

We can simply keep our roads safe by avoiding speeding or texting and talking on the phone behind the wheel.

Impaired and distracted drivers are dangerous and must stay away from our roads.

It’s important to dial 9-1-1 if a suspected impaired driver is spotted.

Let’s promise we will not drink and drive. Let’s promise we will plan ahead such as taking taxi or walking home. Let’s also promise not to ride with an impaired driver.

Have a wonderful holiday season, Merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Source: Brampton Guardian


Last updated on: 2013-11-25 | Link to this post