Markita Kaulius helps launch the annual Project Red Ribbon Campaign at Surrey City Hall on Monday. Kaulius' daughter Kassandra was killed by a drunk driver.

MADD launches seasonal campaign in Surrey

Project Red Ribbon aims to prevent impaired driving during the holiday season.

With the holiday season just around the corner, MADD Metro Vancouver has officially launched its annual Project Red Ribbon campaign to prevent impaired driving.

The Campaign kicked off today at Surrey City Hall with Mayor Dianne Watts and Bob Rorison, executive director of MADD Metro Vancouver, in attendance. Also on hand was Markita Kaulius, whose daughter Kassandra was killed by a drunk driver in 2011.

“The little red ribbon packs a big message,” said Rorison. “It reminds people to plan ahead for a safe ride home if they’re going to be drinking. It reminds people that impaired driving puts lives at risk. It reminds people that the deaths and injuries resulting from this violent crime are needless and totally preventable.”

MADD Metro Vancouver is asking everyone to help make this holiday season safe from impaired driving and offers the following tips:

• 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.

“Project Red Ribbon continues to effectively raise awareness about the importance of drinking responsibly and finding alternative rides home,” said  Watts. “By wearing red ribbons, we demonstrate our commitment to road safety in our community.”

Project Red Ribbon runs from Nov. 1 to the first Monday after New Year’s Day. During this time, MADD Metro Vancouver will be out in the community asking residents of Metro Vancouver to tie a red ribbon to their vehicles, key chains, purses, briefcases or backpacks. The red ribbon is a symbol of a person’s commitment to drive safe and sober during the holiday season, and a reminder to other motorists to do the same.

The red ribbon serves as a tribute to those who have been killed or injured as a result of impaired driving. Every year, between 1,250 and 1,500 people are killed and more than 63,000 injured in impairment-related crashes.

Ribbons can be requested from the MADD Metro Vancouver Chapter by emailing maddvancouver@gmail.com or calling 604-515-9212.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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