MONTREAL, Nov. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Thomas Ratté was just 17 years old when he was killed by an impaired driver after stepping off a bus with a group of friends. Today, his mother Odette Lachance joins MADD Canada and MADD Montreal to launch the 2022 Project Red Ribbon campaign to prevent impaired driving during the upcoming holiday season.
With the holiday season being one of the busiest times on most social calendars, the risk for impaired driving is high. Project Red Ribbon reminds Canadians about the importance of always driving sober, or planning ahead for a sober ride home if alcohol, cannabis or other drugs are being consumed.
“The tragic deaths and devastating injuries caused by impaired driving are entirely preventable. That is why we host our Project Red Ribbon campaign every year,” said MADD Canada National President Jaymie Lyne Hancock. “We want to engage people in the effort to prevent impaired driving so that no one has to face the grief and heartbreak that Thomas’ family has faced.”
Hundreds of Canadians are killed and thousands are injured every year in impaired driving crashes. MADD Canada’s latest statistics show that every hour, on average, 10 impaired driving federal charges and provincial short-term licence suspensions are laid in Canada.
Today’s launch event, being held at Centre St-Pierre in Montreal, is being hosted by MADD Canada and its MADD Montreal Chapter. Special guests include Odette and her family, Lieutenant Bryan Cunningham of the Montreal Police Services, Indigo Park Canada Incorporated and Jonathan Hamel, Uber Canada’s Public Policy Manager responsible for Quebec. Indigo Park Canada and Uber Canada are two of this year’s Project Red Ribbon National Sponsors.
Project Red Ribbon runs from November 1, 2022 to January 2, 2023, with MADD Canada volunteers in communities across Canada distributing thousands of red ribbons and red ribbon car decals to the public to use as a symbol of their commitment to always drive sober. The ribbons also serve as a powerful tribute to the hundreds of Canadians killed and thousands injured in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs each year.
Thomas’ photo is featured on the 2022 Project Red Ribbon poster and bookmark. Other materials to promote the campaign and the sober driving message include a brand new radio public service announcement and updated television public service announcement.
This year’s Project Red Ribbon launch includes a very special feature – the presentation of the Medal of Excellence in the Fight Against Impaired Driving to a police officer in recognition of the incredible work done to apprehend impaired drivers and keep our roads and communities safe. The Medal will be presented to Officer Sylvain Forgues from Service de police de l’agglomération de Longueuil (SPAL) for his constant efforts to stop impaired driving, particularly by training Drug Recognition Experts who make a real difference to curb drug impaired driving. MADD Canada is very proud to hand out this award to Officer Forgues as he has been volunteering with the organization for 5 years as MADD Longueuil Community Leader.
MADD Canada thanks its 2022 Project Red Ribbon sponsors for their generous support: KAG Canada, Uber Canada, BMO Financial Group, Indigo Park Canada Incorporated and Irving Oil Ltd. For a full list of this year’s sponsors and coin box partners, visit https://madd.ca/pages/giving/sponsors-and-donors/our-sponsors/.
“This campaign is made possible through the generous support of our wonderful sponsors,” said Ms. Hancock. “We want to recognize and thank them for their partnership in this campaign to save lives and prevent injuries this holiday season.”
MADD Canada’s red ribbons and car decals are available through MADD Canada Chapters and Community Leaders across the country, through the MADD Canada website at www.madd.ca, or by emailing [email protected]. Anyone who wishes to support Project Red Ribbon with a donation can do so online through the website, by calling 1-800-665-6233 or by texting “RIBBON” to 45678 (a one-time $10 donation is added to the donor’s cell phone bill and payable to his or her service provider.)