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From left, Paul Didham of the RNC, RCMP Superintendent Holly Turton, MADD’s national president Patricia Hynes Coates, president of MADD’s Avalon chapter Terry Coates, Const. Heather Ellis, and Ken Milks of the RNC announce a new initiative for police forces in the province, called Team Coates.
MADD launched the 31st year of Project Red Ribbon in Gander Nov. 16. The project asks people to tie a ribbon to their vehicle, their keys, or anywhere else, and to make the commitment to not drive impaired this holiday season.
President of MADD’s Gander chapter Tracey Moller tells the story of her sister, Marlene Wight, who was killed in a drunk driving incident 27 years ago, at the ribbon campaign launch at the fire hall in Gander Nov. 16.
Patricia Hynes Coates, MADD Canada national president, speaks at the ribbon campaign launch at the fire hall in Gander Nov. 16.
President of MADD Avalon, Terry Coates, lights a candle at the beginning of the ribbon campaign launch at the fire hall in Gander Nov. 16.
RCMP Superintendent Holly Turton speaks at the launch of MADD’s red ribbon campaign at the fire hall in Gander Nov. 16.
31 years of red ribbons
There is a new initiative for police to help combat impaired driving in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Members of MADD, politicians, police officers, and first responders gathered in the Gander fire hall Nov. 16 to launch the 31st annual Red Ribbon Project, asking people to tie the red ribbon on their car or keys or somewhere visible, and make a commitment to not drive impaired this holiday season. They also bore witness to the announcement of a new program, based on one in British Columbia, to recognize police officers who are especially dedicated to getting impaired drivers off the roads.
The initiative is called Team Coates after Nicholas Coates, the son of MADD Avalon chapter president Terry Coates and the step-son of MADD national president Patricia Hynes Coates, who was killed by an impaired driver. When police officers in the province remove eight or more impaired drivers from the roads, they will become members of Team Coates, Const. Heather Ellis of Glovertown detachment explained.
According to the CBC, Alexa’s Team, the program in BC on which Team Coates is modeled, grew from 26 officers to 2,400 in 10 years.