There is a new initiative for police to help combat impaired driving in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Members of MADD, politicians, police officers, and first responders gathered in the Gander fire hall Nov. 16 to launch the 31st annual Red Ribbon Project, asking people to tie the red ribbon on their car or keys or somewhere visible, and make a commitment to not drive impaired this holiday season. They also bore witness to the announcement of a new program, based on one in British Columbia, to recognize police officers who are especially dedicated to getting impaired drivers off the roads.
The initiative is called Team Coates after Nicholas Coates, the son of MADD Avalon chapter president Terry Coates and the step-son of MADD national president Patricia Hynes Coates, who was killed by an impaired driver. When police officers in the province remove eight or more impaired drivers from the roads, they will become members of Team Coates, Const. Heather Ellis of Glovertown detachment explained.
According to the CBC, Alexa’s Team, the program in BC on which Team Coates is modeled, grew from 26 officers to 2,400 in 10 years.