Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- If you’ve been driving on the Thruway, you may have been handed a red ribbon. They’re being handed out by the Thruway Authority and the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
“Having experienced loss myself years ago, I’m aware of the impact that this has on families and the community, so it’s something that’s very dear to my heart,” said Mother and member of MADD Rachael Browngardt.
As an active member of MADD, she’s working to get the word out, raising awareness to drive safely and sober.
Last year nationwide, nearly 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving crashes.
The 26th annual "Tie One on for Safety" Red Ribbon campaign rolled out Friday in NY State. 18,000 ribbons are being handed out across the state to drivers at Thruway tolls. The Thruway Authority and MADD hope you’ll tie it onto your antenna to raise awareness among other drivers.
This year alone, State Police say there have been nearly 800 alcohol related crashes on the Thruway. There have been nearly 150 arrests for driving drunk.
“We’ve seen over the years, people have been more aware. The awareness campaign is working, but there’s still room for improvement,” explained NY State Trooper Robin Urbaniak.
In addition to the thousands killed, 350,000 people were injured in alcohol related crashes last year.