FORT HOOD, Texas - Senior leaders here pledged their support for the annual Tie One On for Safety campaign, Nov. 2, as they signed a campaign pledge and tied a red ribbon on their vehicles, a symbol of their support for the campaign.
The Tie One On for Safety campaign is an annual nationwide observance designed to remind people not to drink and drive by tying a red ribbon on their vehicle, signifying the blood of those victims who lose their lives in drunk driving accidents annually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10,000 people die annually in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
“This is one harmful behavior that is 100% preventable,” Lt. Gen. Pat White, III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, said.
After signing the campaign pledge, White, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Cliff Burgoyne, III Corps and Fort Hood command sergeant major and Maj. Gen. Steven Gilland, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commander for maneuver, tied red ribbons on the front of their vehicles.
Started by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the annual campaign began in 1986 to put an end to alcohol-related vehicle fatalities. According to MADD, some of the most dangerous times of the year to drive is during the holiday season, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Fort Hood’s Army Substance Abuse Program has red ribbons for people to tie on their vehicles to show their support for the campaign. The bright red ribbon is meant to encourage people to stop and question the significance of the ribbon.
Ronald Smiley, ASAP prevention coordinator, said they are encouraging people to find alternate means of celebrating, instead of turning to alcohol. If alcohol will be consumed, he urges people to have a plan for alternate means of transportation, such as Uber, Lyft, taxi or a designated driver.
“During the holiday season, the nation continues to see an increase in accidents and POV (personally operated vehicle) fatalities attributable to errant behavior,” Smiley added. “This campaign will help raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving during the holiday season.”
Even after the campaign season, he encourages people to be cognizant of what they’re doing year-round. Smiley encourages people to keep money set aside to pay for their ride home or call their first-line supervisor for a ride. There is also an app people can download to find a designated driver. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s SaferRide app is a prime example of how to find a designated driver in the area. The free app is available on Android and Apple devices.
“Don’t drink. If you drink, don’t drive,” White advised. “That’s the rule, yet we lose 10,000 every year to drunk driving. Let’s get after preventing it.”
For more information about the Fort Hood ASAP, visit https://home.army.mil/hood/index.php/units-tenants/Garrison-1/directorate-human-resources/army-substance-abuse-program, https://www.facebook.com/FortHoodASAP or call them at 254-287-7575.