GTA

Toronto chapter of MADD, TTC team up to encourage sober driving this holiday season

The TTC is partnering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Toronto chapter in its annual Red Ribbon campaign to remind people about the dangers of impaired driving.

The campaign, which launched Sunday at Wilson Bus Yard, comes just in time for the holiday season. It pays tribute to impaired driving victims and emphasizes the sober driving message this holiday season.

Photos of impaired driving victims are being placed on 20 TTC buses.

Throughout the campaign, MADD Canada volunteers in communities across Canada plan to distribute thousands of red ribbons and car decals as a reminder to always drive sober and as a tribute to the thousands of Canadians killed and injured in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs each year.

“All of the people gathering for this event — and so many more across this city and across the country — are missing someone this holiday season because someone else made a decision to drive impaired,” said MADD’s director of victim services Carolyn Swinson.

“We’re here because we want to prevent more tragedies from happening. No one should ever lose their life or suffer the loss of a loved one due to this preventable crime.”

By the end of November, there were more than 40 deaths involving alcohol or drugs on OPP-patrolled roads. In 2018, that number was 56.

Marg Boutilier lost her son Michael Boutilier, 24, in 2015.

“Michael was a ray of sunshine. He could show up at your door, totally unannounced and brighten up your day. He just had a way about him,” Boutilier told CBC News.

“I hope these buses help people think twice about what the consequences of what drinking and driving is.”

Brian Wijeratne lost his father and sister in 2012.

“It was a wrong way driver coming down the 427 on the northbound lanes and collided with my family’s minivan,” Wijeratne said.

“My dad and my sister were killed and my mom was catastrophically injured. She spent three months in hospital. This is a serious issue and it’s completely preventable.”

Project Red Ribbon runs from Nov. 1 to the beginning of January.

CBC

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CBC

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