MADD teams up with Thruway Authority to promote safe driving

ALBANY, N.Y. — Mothers Against Drunk Driving has been kicking off
the Red Ribbon campaign for years, and on Friday morning the organization
teamed up with the Thruway Authority to hand out red ribbons at various
locations throughout the state.

Officials say the Red Ribbon campaign is the longest running and
most visible public awareness project. MADD hopes this campaign will encourage
people to drive sober and safe.

But drinking and driving is still a problem that has taken too
many lives across the country. In 2012, according to the Department of Motor
Vehicles, there were more than 8,600 alcohol-related crashes in New York State
reported by police. This resulted in more than 350 deaths and more than 6,300
injuries.

Red ribbons will be handed out to motorists for three
days at several Thruway exit booths, spanning from exit 15 Woodbury to exit 55
Lackawanna, to ensure everyone gets the message this New Year, don't drink and
drive.

Michele Ware of Waterford, who attended Friday's press
conference, has been affected by drunk driving four times.

“The first one involved my cousin. My cousin died,”
explained Ware. “The second one was a classmate. He his wife and three
children. A drunk driver coming in the other direction hit them and killed all
five of them. The third incident was the one from Long Island, Katie, who was
killed in the limousine. The last incident was just last year, my mother my two
year old granddaughter my son and 17 year old nephew… and a drunk driver,
repeat offender, crossed the line and broad sided them. Luckily they all
survived.”

And on a national scale, the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration says alcohol-impaired driving deaths increased nationwide by 4.6
percent in 2012, accounting for 31 percent of overall fatalities.

Just this week the NYS Police have been cracking down on drunk
drivers during the holiday travel.

Ribbons can be found at 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)
  • Exit 55
    (Lackawanna)

Ribbons will also be available at the Thruway's Travel Plazas.
Everyone is asked to display the ribbon on their vehicles.

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