MADD joined officials from the New York State Thruway and New York State Police at exit 55 on Friday morning to talk about the campaign.
In the initiative, Thruway toll collectors at selected exits (including exit 55 in Lackawanna) will hand out the red ribbons. The ribbons will also be available at the Thruway Travel Plazas.
MADD chose the red ribbon as a symbol in 1986.
The foot-long red ribbons are meant to be displayed on drivers vehicles to raise public awareness on the dangers of drunk driving, says Elizabeth Obad, president of MADD Erie County.
"Put that in a visible place on their vehicle to show themselves and others and remind them to drive safe and sober throughout the new year," Obad says.
She says the organization hopes drivers will pledge to drive safe, sober, and buckled up.
The Thruway Authority will be posting MADD’s reminder to “Drive Safe and Sober” on message boards throughout the Thruway system from December 27, 2012 to January 1, 2013.
The New York State Thruway Authority on Friday issued the following press release on the campaign:
New York State Thruway Authority toll collectors will handout 18,000 red ribbons on Friday, December 28, 2012 to mark the annual Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) “Tie One On For Safety” campaign, the Thruway Authority announced today.
The ribbons, which will also be available at the Thruway’s Travel Plazas, will be distributed to motorists upon entry at the following Thruway exits: Exit 15 (Woodbury); Exit 17 (Newburgh); Exit 24 (Albany); Exit B3 (Canaan, Mass Pike); Exit 34A (Syracuse); Exit 36 (Watertown, Binghamton); Exit 39 (Syracuse, I-690); Exit 46 (Rochester, Corning); and Exit 55 (Lackawanna).
“The New York State Thruway is one of America’s safest highways and our participation in this campaign encourages drivers to keep themselves and others safe by not drinking and driving,” said Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison.
“To honor lives lost and those injured as a result of impaired driving, we should do all that we can to save other families from enduring this pain,” said Michele Fonda, MADD spokeswoman. “MADD is pleased to have the continued support of the Thruway Authority and recommends planning ahead for a safe way home – designating a sober driver before drinking begins, hosting parties responsibly, and providing alternate transportation or accommodations for those who have been drinking.”
The foot-long red ribbons, a symbol chosen by MADD in 1986, are meant to be displayed on motorist’ vehicles to raise public awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and encourage all to take the pledge to drive safe, sober, and buckled up. The “Tie One On For Safety” campaign is MADD’s longest running and most visible public awareness project. In addition to participating in the ribbon handout, the Thruway Authority will be posting MADD’s reminder to “Drive Safe and Sober” on message boards throughout the Thruway system from December 27, 2012 to January 1, 2013.
MADD was established in 1980 to advocate safe driving. The national organization has more than 600 affiliates nationwide, with 18 chapters throughout New York State. MADD focuses on finding effective solutions to the problems of drunk driving and underage drinking, as well as supporting those who have suffered from the consequences of both. Nationwide Insurance is the National Presenting Sponsor for MADD’s “Tie One On For Safety” red ribbon campaign.
MADD also expresses support for law enforcement crackdown efforts, particularly during the holiday season when the number of alcohol-related crashes rises. New York State Police Troop T will be conducting specialized patrols and a fixed checkpoint in undisclosed locations along the Thruway during the holiday period.