COLUMBUS — Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, including the Ohio State Highway Patrol, law enforcement from around the state and other safety advocates gathered Tuesday to launch the annual “Tie One on for Safety” campaign with a message to drive safe, sober and buckled up.
Carolyn Richie, whose son Eric was killed in a drunk driving crash on Dec. 8, 2012, shared the devastating impact impaired driving can have on a family.
This is the 29th year for the holiday ribbon campaign, which encourages motorists to tie the MADD ribbon to their vehicles as a pledge to be safe on the roadways. The campaign also reminds drivers to buckle up, because a seatbelt is the best defense against a drunk driver.
“We urge all Ohio motorists to lead by example and help spread the message of planning ahead for a designated non-drinking driver when celebration include alcohol,” Doug Scoles, MADD Ohio State executive director, said.
According to OSHP crash statistics, in Ohio last year 327 people were killed in 297 alcohol-related crashes. There were 27 deaths in 25 of alcohol-related crashes that occurred between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
“Partnerships developed through collaborative efforts like the ‘Tie One on for Safety’ campaign are critical to reaching out to all Ohioans to encourage them to drive safe and sober during this holiday season and every day of the year,” ODPS Director John Born said. “Together, we can help reduce the number of deaths and injuries so that no family has to experience this preventable tragedy.”
All of ODPS’ divisions are working to remind people to drive safe and sober. OSHP and local law enforcement are using stepped up enforcement and educational efforts to prevent injuries and deaths. Law enforcement representatives from DUI Task Forces around the state attended the event in support of the campaign. Local deputy registrars for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles are passing out the red ribbons throughout the campaign and the Ohio Investigative Unit will continue its focus on over-serving and underage consumption.
“Every death resulting from impaired driving is a tragedy that could have been prevented. You can do your part by making smart decisions on Ohio’s roadways and by displaying the red ribbon,” Lt. Col. Kevin Teaford, Ohio State Highway Patrol, said. “Together, we can stop future deaths on our roadways. That’s why we do what we do.”