© Jocelyn Turner - Amherst Daily News
Present for the ribbon cutting to launch the annual Red Ribbon Campaign were: Const. Dal Hutchinson (from left), Deputy Mayor George Baker, Susan McAskill, Louise Stillman, Shelley Pettigrew, Const. Tom Wood and Derek Hebert.
AMHERST – As a reminder to drive sober during the upcoming holiday season, representatives from the local MADD chapter and first responders held a traffic stop along Robert Angus Drive yesterday afternoon.
Before heading out on the road to remind passing drivers about the importance of driving sober, the first responders and representatives from MADD gathered at the Amherst Regional High School library to remind everyone of the cause.
“I want to get everyone who makes the decision to go out on that road drinking and driving off the road,” said local MADD chapter president Louise Stillman.
Stillman started working with the program as a volunteer. She said she couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to have a member of the police department knocking on her door in the middle of the night to tell her, her loved one had been killed by a drunk driver.
“This is all 100 per cent preventable,” she said. “Stay home and have a drink. Take a cab. Don’t get in your car.”
One of the problems that might lead drivers to get behind the wheel while impaired, according to Stillman, is because they believe they are invincible and they are able to make it home safely.
“They think it’s only a little ways down the road or they live in town so it’s not far,” she said. “They think they can drive slow and nothing will happen.”
Const. Dal Hutchinson was just one of the first responders on hand for the launch of the annual campaign.
“It’s about getting the message out to the general public,” he said. “This is the time where people are celebrating, getting out and socializing more. We just want to remind them, ‘Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.’”