Project Red Ribbon: MADD Ottawa promoting sober driving throughout holiday season

(The MADD Red Ribbon kick-off took place at Ottawa City Hall on October 27, 2021 with members of the Ontario Provincial Police present for the event. Photo: OPP-East Region)

The holidays are one of the busiest times on most social calendars. As such, it is of the utmost importance to plan ahead for a sober ride home if one’s celebrations include alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs. MADD Canada’s red ribbons and red ribbon car decals serve as a small, yet powerful, reminder to everyone to drive sober.

From November 1st to January 3rd, MADD Chapter Ottawa – in collaboration with partners in law enforcement, emergency services, and other community organizations and businesses – will distribute red ribbons and red ribbon car decals to encourage the public to:

  • Never drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver.
  • Plan ahead if you’re going to be consuming alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs. Call an Uber or a cab, arrange a designated driver, take public transit, or stay the night.
  • Call 911 if you see a driver you suspect is impaired. For information on the signs of an impaired driver and what to do, visit MADD’s Campaign 911 page.

MADD Canada’s red ribbons symbolize a person’s commitment to drive safe and sober. They also serve as a moving tribute to those killed or injured in accidents that resulted from impaired driving.

This year, the Project Red Ribbon campaign materials honour Chloe Kaniusis. The mother of two young sons, Chloe was killed by an impaired driver on November 21, 2014. MADD Canada thanks Chloe’s parents, Brenda and Mel Brown, and her whole family for allowing them to share Chloe’s story.

Ottawa Chapter President Geoff Leckey said: “Over the years, the Ottawa community has shown great support for the Red Ribbon campaign, and I encourage them to do so again. It is heartening to see every red ribbon, because each one represents someone who has heard the message that it is never worth it to drive impaired and has made a commitment to always drive sober.”

According to MADD Canada’s latest statistics, on average, every hour 10 impaired driving federal charges and provincial short-term license suspensions are laid in Canada. Hundreds of Canadians are killed, and thousands are injured, in impairment-related crashes every year.

“Impaired driving is not an ‘accident’. Someone makes the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or consuming drugs,” said MADD Canada National President Jaymie-Lyne Hancock. “We can all help prevent the tragic deaths and injuries that result from impaired driving. Please plan ahead for a sober ride home.”

Ottawa residents can join the effort to prevent impaired driving this holiday season. All they need to do is get a red ribbon, then:

  • Tie it! Put the ribbon on your car, your purse or briefcase, your bike, or your backpack to show your commitment to sober driving.
  • Wear it! Pick a day to wear RED in support of Project Red Ribbon.
  • Show it! & Share it! Post a photo or video to your social media pages showing your red ribbon. Please use #ProjectRedRibbon in your post and tag MADD Canada.
  • Live it! Never drive impaired and always plan ahead for a sober ride home. We can ALL help prevent impaired driving this holiday season.

You can also support Project Red Ribbon through a $10 donation by texting “RIBBON” to 45678. The charge will be added to your cell phone bill.

MADD Canada thanks its 2021 Project Red Ribbon sponsors for their generous support: Irving Oil, KAG Canada, Uber, BMO, and Economical Insurance. For a full list of this year’s sponsors and coin box partners, visit MADD’s site.

Red ribbons and car decals are available from MADD Ottawa at



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