‘Tis the season for parties at work and nights out with friends. It’s also the December CounterAttack campaign against impaired driving, launched each year by the province of BC, police, and the Insurance Corporation of BC.
I received a press release from the BCAA Road Safety Foundation that reported the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired drivers in BC is down by almost half in the past year.
We still have a long way to go – but it’s important to acknowledge success along the way – and one group that has surely helped to bring down these tragic numbers is Operation Red Nose and its volunteers who drive motorists home in their own cars during the holiday season.
The program started in Quebec City in 1984 and in recent years an average of 55,000 volunteers across the country give 80,000 rides home from Nov. 25 to Dec. 31, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. In BC, during the weekend of Nov. 25 to 27, 1,374 motorists made a “smart choice of a safe ride home,” says this a press release from Operation Red Nose, sponsored in BC by ICBC and CTV.
This year in Canada, there are 111 Canadian communities taking part. It’s also available for people who don’t feel fit to drive because of other reasons like fatigue or medication.
“The mission of Operation Red Nose is to encourage responsible behavior (in a non-judgmental manner) with regard to impaired driving by enabling communities to provide a free and confidential chauffeur service to their members, the financial benefits of which are redistributed to local organizations dedicated to youth,” reads their web site.
To see if this is an option in your region, check out the operation Red Nose website or call 1-877-604-NOSE. Employers can visit the Operation Red Nose website to get information on arranging rides for staff parties. The service is free, and drivers are asked for donations that go to amateur sports programs.
Kudos to volunteers
It’s so touching to think about these volunteers – out late at night in the cold – making sure people get home safely. No doubt, their caring actions have saved a lot of lives.