Ridge Meadows RCMP want to spread the word, that when you’re out celebrating over Christmas and New Year’s – so will they, looking for drunk drivers.
Impaired driving is still the leading cause of car crash fatalities, says the local police force, citing ICBC statistics.
Those stats show that an average of 23 people die a year in alcohol-related crashes in Metro Vancouver.
“It is far better to plan a safe ride, or a way to get home before drinking,” said Cpl. Brenda Winpenny.
“Ridge Meadows RCMP will be conducting enhanced road safety initiatives over the holiday season, focused on deterring impaired driving.”
ICBC is giving the same message to motorists.
“We want everyone to enjoy the holidays, so make sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home. Take your turn as the designated driver, call a taxi, take transit or use Operation Red Nose,” said Kate Woochuk, ICBC road safety coordinator.
“We all need to do our part to make sure friends and family get home safely.”
In Maple Ridge, Operation Red Nose is available on:
• Friday, Dec. 11 and Saturday, Dec. 12 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.;
• Friday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 19 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.;
• Thursday, Dec. 31 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.
After calling the Red Nose Hotline, at 604-515-NOSE (6673) or 1-877-604-NOSE (6673), a volunteer team is dispatched to the caller’s location.
Three people will show up – one to drive the caller and his or her vehicle home, one to navigate and a third volunteer in an escort vehicle that will pick up their team members for the return trip.
The service is free. The goal is to make sure that people get home safely, says Operation Red Nose.
Operation Red Nose is possible thanks to a partnership by PacificSport Fraser Valley. Maple Ridge Towing provides the room for the headquarters and the dispatch centre for Operation Red Nose in Maple Ridge.
Volunteer drivers are needed, especially on New Year’s Eve, usually Operation Red Nose’s busiest night. To fill out a volunteer registration form, visit pacificsportfraservalley.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.