MADD’s red ribbon turns 25

Get stopped for a good cause

Keith Maryanovich
Published on November 22, 2012

An RCMP roadblock stopped all traffic on Highway 303 in Conway one day last week. Officers and volunteers spoke to drivers one by one as part of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s red ribbon awareness campaign on Monday, Nov. 19.

The symbolic red ribbon has been reminding people since 1985 to support the victims of crashes caused by impaired drivers.

Crashes involving impaired drivers kill between 1,250 and 1,500 Canadians every year and injure another 63,000.

Sheila McGuirk, treasurer of MADD’s Bay of Fundy branch and Jennie Bignell, past president, handed out red ribbons to local drivers and stressed that these deaths and injuries are preventable.

Denise Dubyk, national president, speaking at the national launch of the campaign, said the 25-year milestone is bittersweet.

"We are proud of the impact this program has and we are proud of its longevity,” she said. “We know it has made a difference. And yet, I believe everyone with MADD Canada would agree – we long for the day when we can retire this program because it is no longer needed – because impaired driving has been eliminated."

She says we can prevent impaired driving, if everyone makes good, responsible and safe choices.

She suggests the following ways to help make this holiday season safe from impaired driving:

-Plan ahead when you know you'll be drinking. Take a cab or bus, arrange a designated driver or plan to stay over.

-Never drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver.

-If you see a driver you suspect is impaired, call 911 to report it to police.

“The call you make could save a life,” says Dubyk.

For more information, check out the website at