For some drivers, the red ribbons now synonymous with MADD Canada never leave their cars, but there will soon be even more signs of support as MADD Ottawa launched its annual Project Red Ribbon campaign Wednesday.
“It’s a national symbol,” said MADD Ottawa president Tom Wainwright of the iconic ribbon.
“It’s been around for years. Whenever people see a red ribbon this time of year, they know it’s for the red ribbon campaign. It symbolizes the victims of violent crime.”
Wainwright anticipates that MADD Ottawa will distribute between 75,000 to 100,000 red ribbons over two months.
MADD Ottawa is partnering with Ottawa police, OPP and community organizations and businesses for the campaign.
The ribbons, which are available at businesses across the city and at the MADD office on Hazeldean Road, “remind people not to drive impaired, and to tie a ribbon on your car if you support the cause,” said Ottawa OPP Const. Guy Prevost.
The event also marks the beginning of the Christmas season, when police put a bigger emphasis on impaired drivers, said Prevost said.
The Ottawa OPP is kicking off its Festive Ride program where they conduct checks in the daytime as well as evenings, on Nov. 26.
The OPP would like “to see a big decline in the number of impaired drivers,” said Prevost. “But we haven’t seen a rise in impaired drivers, so I think people are understanding a bit more.”