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40th Anniversary of MADD

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

It’s been 40 years since the founding of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

MADD Tennessee State Board Member Norris Skelley has been a member for more than half of the group’s existence. During Skelley’s 27 years in MADD, the alcohol fatality rate has dropped by 200 deaths in Tennessee.

However, Skelley said there is more impaired driving today than when his brother-in-law was killed by a repeat offender.

“25 years ago you didn’t see a lot of the drug impaired cases.” Skelley said. “but now you have methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and then you see a lot of the prescription drugs that people aren’t supposed to operate a vehicle while they’re taking but they do anyway.”

Skelley said following the death of his brother-in-law a chapter of MADD was organized in Putnam County. For the first meeting, Skelley said he and his wife didn’t know the path this formation would lead to.

“My wife and I went and we thought, ‘ hey we’ll sit in the back and do a little volunteer work,’ Skelley said. “27 years later we’re still out here.”

Following that chapter formation, MADD has worked in the Upper Cumberland to help victims in the court system, spoken at health fairs and crime victim’s rights weeks and hosted candle light vigils. Although, Skelley said MADD still wants to do more in the Upper Cumberland.

“One of the things I think we could use in this area is people realizing that drunk and drugged driving is still an issue.” Skelley said. “I think a lot of people think that was solved many years ago, and one of the best thing we could have is have people ask us to provide materials.”

Kelley said two out of 3 of Adults will be affected by an impaired driving crash. MADD was originally formed in 1980.



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