Every November, the Kansas Highway Patrol ties red ribbons to agency-owned vehicles to show the agency’s zero tolerance toward impaired driving.


Every November, the Kansas Highway Patrol ties red ribbons to agency-owned vehicles to show the agency’s zero tolerance toward impaired driving.

The KHP will display the red ribbons throughout the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays. These ribbons memorialize the lives lost due to alcohol-related tragedies.

“Crashes involving drug and alcohol impaired drivers effect everyone – drivers, passengers, pedestrians and others traveling on the roadways. These crashes have severe consequences that are long-lasting,” said Colonel Terry Maple, superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol.

“We display red ribbons on our vehicles during the holiday season to heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving, and we invite the public to join us in this effort.”

According to Kansas Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), approximately 20,000 individuals are arrested annually in Kansas for impaired driving. Statistics compiled by the Kansas Department of Transportation show there were 3,366 alcohol-related crashes in 2008, resulting in 131 deaths and 1,999 injuries. During the 2008 Thanksgiving reporting period (from 6 p.m. the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving through midnight Sunday following the holiday), there were 45 alcohol-related crashes, 15 of which resulted in injuries. There were no alcohol-related fatalities.
During the 2007/2008 New Year’s reporting period (from 6 p.m. the Friday prior to the holiday until midnight on Tuesday, New Year’s Day), there were 47 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 26 injuries and two deaths.

The KHP reminds motorists not to drink and drive, and do not let friends or family members drive while impaired. If a person consumes alcohol, call a friend, family member, or taxi service for a sober ride home, or make plans to have a sober ride home before going to holiday parties.Motorists concerned another driver might be impaired can use their cell phone to dial *47 (*HP) on Kansas highways or *582 (*KTA) on the Kansas Turnpike to reach the nearest highway patrol dispatcher.

The KHP encourages all motorists to tie a red ribbon to an antenna, side mirror or door handle, pledging to drive safely and not while impaired. Red ribbons are being distributed at the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Troop Headquarters throughout the state. For those unable to get one from the KHP, any 18-inch strip of red ribbon will show support.