On Nov. 14, 2019 in Tamarind Park MADD Hawaii and its sponsors and partners launched the 2019 Red Ribbon Campaign. As part of its Tie One On for Safety campaign, MADD volunteers passed out their traditional red ribbons for attendees to tie onto their vehicles.

To see photos from event click through this slide show. To enlarge the slide show images click on the diagonal arrow in bottom right hand corner.

Nationwide last year, 432 people died on Thanksgiving in car crashes, with another 1,087 killed between Christmas and New Year’s Day, according to NHTSA, with many of those collisions being alcohol-related. In 2018, 35 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Hawaii, plus many more in drug-related crashes. MADD Hawaii urges the community to display a free MADD red ribbon in a visible location to remind others to always designate a driver who’s not drinking or drugging.

“MADD Hawaii has been asking drivers to attach our ribbons to their vehicles during the holidays for 33 years of its 35-year history in the state,” said MADD Hawaii founder Carol McNamee. “The red ribbon has become the iconic reminder for people to think ahead before getting behind the wheel. Visible on many vehicles, the ribbons may have been a factor in the significant decrease in Hawaii’s alcohol-related fatalities over the years.”

Honolulu’s finest first responders were also in attendance and tied ribbons onto their police vehicles and motor bikes and to a fire engine. The park was awash in the uniforms of the Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu Fire Department, EMS personnel and several members of the Coast Gaurd.

Along with insightful comments by first responder leadership and sponsors, Melissa Lau, the wife of Dr. Travis Lau who was killed in the tragic Kaka‘ako crash in January, also shared her thoughts. She delivered an impassioned speech that implored and reminded us all to take responsbility for ending these terrible senseless crashes. Hawaii News now covered the event and included parts of her talk here and in the news coverage here.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Hawaii urges adults deciding to at drink at parties or events during the holidays plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver. Those who host a party that includes alcohol should make sure their guests have a safe ride home as well as non-alcholoic choices for designated drivers. Full recipes of various Mocktail drinks are available online at www.DTRIC.com/Mocktails

“We want everyone to be safe on our roads year-round and especially during the holiday season, a time when many celebrations include alcoholic beverages,” said Theresa Paulette, Victim Services Specialist for MADD Hawaii. “Drunk driving crashes increase around this time of year; the solution is simple: plan ahead for a non-drinking designated driver if you’re going to drink alcohol.”

The red ribbons also signify support for law enforcement officers, who will be out in force as part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Other community partners have joined in to support MADD’s annual campaign, including Toyota Hawaii, DTRIC Insurance, and Uber.

Started in 1986, Tie One On For Safety® is MADD’s longest running and most visible public awareness project. The name comes from the phrase “tie one on,” which is slang for drinking alcohol. But at MADD we use the phrase to remind everyone that drinking and driving don’t mix. Free ribbons are available at Honolulu Hale, Toyota Hawaii, Zippy’s, Foodland, Aloha Island Marts, NAPA Auto Parts, and Macy’s Ala Moana.