Two local anti-drinking and driving campaigns got off to an impressive start at Uxbridge Secondary School Nov. 15th as community leaders gathered with local school kids to drive home this important safety message.
The 2011/12 DRPS Festive R.I.D.E. campaign and the M.A.D.D. Durham Red Ribbon campaign officially kicked off at the school in Uxbridge, a community that has been hit hard by impaired-related automobile deaths in the past few years.
The ceremony got off to an emotional start when 17-year-old Grade 12 student Bridget Rusk read a M.A.D.D. poem about a young woman killed in a collision by a drunk driver even though she was driving sober. An excerpt from that poem is attached.
Uxbridge Township Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor was emotionally moved by the speech and urged all young people to take the message to heart and to play an active role in preventing drinking and driving incidents.
Chief Constable Mike Ewles, Regional Chair Roger Anderson and other civic officials also lent their voice to the chorus, imploring people of all ages to make the right choice and avoid driving when impaired by drug or alcohol.
Most impressive were the posters created by Uxbridge S.S. students in support of the anti-drinking and driving campaign. Grade 12 student Carolyne Garbas’ poster was selected as the main poster for this season’s campaigns and will be featured in local newspapers and websites.
Last year, DRP’s dedicated team of R.I.D.E. officers charged 138 motorists with drinking and driving offences and issued a warning and license suspension to 127 more. The DRP’s strategic approach to targeting problem areas and licensed establishments based on past research is now considered a model for other municipalities in Ontario.
M.A.D.D. Poem (abbreviated)
I went to a party, Mom
I remembered what you said
You told me not to drink, Mom
So I drank a soda instead.
I felt really proud inside, Mom
The way you said I would
I didn’t drink and drive, Mom
Even though others said I should
As I got into my car, Mom
I knew I’d get home in one piece
Because of the way you raised me
So responsible and sweet
I started to drive away, Mom,
But as I pulled out into the road
The other car didn’t see me, Mom
And hit me like a load
As I lay there on the pavement, Mom
I hear the policeman say
“The other guy is drunk,” Mom
And now I’m the one who will pay
…I have one last question, Mom
Before I say goodbye
I didn’t drink and drive
So why am I the one to die?
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Mayor O'Connor Helps Pick Poster Winner (JPG file, 183.2K bytes)
D/Cst. Dave Ashfield with Poster Winners (JPG file, 972.8K bytes)
Cutting the Ribbon (JPG file, 893.1K bytes)
Your 2011 RIDE Team (JPG file, 184.6K bytes)