GM, GMAC and MADD Team-Up To Keep Roadways Safe During Holiday Season: Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS - In an effort to bring awareness to the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and to kick off a safe holiday driving season, General Motors, GMAC and Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul dealerships are joining together to support Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Starting November 22, individuals are invited to visit a participating dealership to pick up a red ribbon in support of MADD's Tie One On For Safety campaign. Visitors are asked to tie the red MADD ribbon to their vehicle's antenna or door handle. For the first 2,500 ribbons picked up, GM and GMAC will donate $5 per ribbon to MADD Minnesota.

The awareness effort will be supported by MADD's radio public service announcement featuring entertainer Naomi Judd, "Every 30 Seconds." In many instances, the PSA is followed by a "call to action," requesting that listeners visit a participating dealership and pick up a red ribbon in support of Tie One On For Safety. The campaign at area dealerships will run through December 10.

"Last year there were 5,723 crashes in Minnesota that involved alcohol. The result was that 195 people lost their lives and 4,433 people sustained injuries. These are tragedies we can all help prevent by bringing more awareness to the issue of drunk driving," said Bonnie Labatt, executive director of MADD Minnesota.

Labatt also explained that on a national scale, every 30 seconds at least one person in America is injured because of drinking and driving and, even worse, this violent crime claims the life of someone about every 30 minutes.

"We are very pleased that General Motors, GMAC and Minneapolis-St. Paul dealerships are joining us in our efforts to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking," Labatt said.

The Tie One On for Safety campaign, now in its 14th year, is MADD's largest annual public awareness program. The 2000 campaign is part of a year-long commemoration of MADD's 20th anniversary in the fight against drunk driving.

"We are proud to support MADD Minnesota in its efforts to bring awareness to the very serious problem of drunk driving," said Sandi Merriman, Minneapolis Market Area Manager, General Motors. "MADD is clearly one of the most respected and influential nonprofit organizations in the country and we're just glad to play a small role in helping MADD achieve its mission."

In December 1999, General Motors announced a five-year, multi-million dollar national sponsorship for Mothers Against Drunk Driving to help MADD continue to raise national awareness of the dangers of driving while intoxicated. As a corporate partner, GM has joined forces with MADD to help co-sponsor MADD's Tie One On For Safety campaign, support the upcoming MADD National Victim Conference and International Candlelight Vigil and is sponsoring MADD's National Victim's Conference December 7-8, 2000 in San Diego.