Gov. Norm Bangerter read and signed a proclamation Thursday declaring December "Tie One On" month in Utah, then he urged Utahns to help stem holiday drinking and driving problems.
The anti-drinking-and-driving campaign is named for Project Red Ribbon, sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Utah Department of Public Safety and 7-Eleven stores, which will give away a total of 250,000 red ribbons from 164 Utah stores.Bangerter became the first to tie one of the ribbons to his car antenna and was helped by Kathy Braithwaite, whose teenage daughter was killed by an intoxicated driver seven weeks ago.
Promoters of the program urge motorists to tie the ribbons to their car's antenna, door handle or outside rear-view mirror. The ribbons are intended to emphasize the importance of public awareness and community involvement in working toward a solution to the drinking and driving problem.
Braithwaite, holding a framed picture of her daughter, made an emotional appeal during a Thursday press conference asking lawmakers to make drunken driving penalties stiffer to keep drunken drivers off the road.
Bangerter said Braithwaite's story is one that is too often told. He praised the intentions and efforts of the state's various law enforcement agencies, but said they can't do all of the work. "All of us have to take individual responsibility," he said.