FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 23, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG JOINS MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING TO KICK OFF 18TH ANNUAL "TIE ONE ON FOR SAFETY" CAMPAIGN
Holiday Reminder to Drive Safe, Sober and Buckled Up
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to kick off its 18th annual Tie One On for Safety campaign with a message to drive safe, sober and buckled up. The popular holiday ribbon program urges motorists to tie a red MADD ribbon to their vehicles as a pledge to be safe on the roadways, and especially buckle up since a seatbelt is the best defense against a drunk driver. MADD Manhattan launched this year's campaign in front of City Hall with the Mayor by tying a ribbon to his car.
"We have zero-tolerance for drunk driving," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Although the NYPD has worked hard to get drunk drivers off our streets through random spot-checking and vehicle seizures, one death is too many, and drivers themselves must act responsibly behind the wheel. I would like to thank the members of MADD for their efforts to stop drunk driving, and I urge all New Yorkers to drive safely during this holiday season."
"Driving sober and buckling up helps keep our entire community safe during this holiday season," said Peggy Lang, coordinator of MADD Manhattan. "We're asking everyone to 'tie one on for safety' to ensure our holiday celebrations are joyful. The choice to drink and drive is a completely voluntary one, and the disastrous consequences can and must be avoided."
The NYPD has made 38% more drunk driving-related arrests this year than in 2003 to date, and, as part the DWI Forfeiture Initiative, have also seized 1,829 vehicles from drunk drivers so far in 2004 - a 21% increase from last year. This has helped lead to a 27% decline in drunk-driving fatalities in our City in 2004. As it does every year, starting this week, the NYPD will continue its holiday enforcement by randomly spot checking drivers and setting up checkpoints throughout the City.
The MADD Tie One On For Safety campaign, nationally sponsored by the world's largest seat belt manufacturer, Takata, and the Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc., official automotive sponsor, comes at a critical time in the year when road travel and traffic fatalities traditionally increase between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. More than 1,500 people died nationwide in alcohol-related traffic crashes during the 2003 Thanksgiving to New Years Eve time period.
Founded in 1980, MADD is a non-profit organization with approximately 600 affiliates and 2 million members and supporters nationwide. MADD's mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. For more information, visit www.madd.org or call 212-725-0620.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Peggy Lang (MADD) (212) 725-0620
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