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Statehouse ceremony calls attention to lives lost in preventable crashes

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month and the annual Red Ribbon Tree Ceremony is a way to call attention to the issue.
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 6:52 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2021 at 6:04 AM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month and the annual Red Ribbon Tree Ceremony is a way to call attention to the issue.

State officials gathered at the Vermont Statehouse Tuesday afternoon to remember lives lost by preventable crashes on Vermont’s roads and highways.

This year to date in Vermont, there have been 236 major road crashes resulting in 236 serious injuries and 67 fatalities. Ribbons on the tree signify a life lost on Vermont’s roads and highways because of a preventable crash during the past year.

This is the 31st year of the Red Ribbon Tree Ceremony and 31 ribbons were added to the tree. Out of those 31, 17 were drivers, seven were passengers and seven more were pedestrians.

People were invited to share their stories and put decorations on the tree to honor loved ones.

“The event is always on the first Tuesday in December and it is exactly for the reason that we want people as they’re celebrating through the holidays to think about the importance of being a safe driver and to avoid potential crashes and injuries and deaths,” said Carol Plante of the Vermont Safe Driver Program, which works to reduce the number of distracted and impaired driving crashes in our state.

Organizers say the best thing you can do to support their mission is to be sure you don’t drive while distracted or impaired.

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