As the city collectively prepares for holiday festivities, Operation Red Nose prepares to keep the streets safe.

The volunteer service offers free transportation to bar patrons who have been drinking and want a safe ride home. A driver, navigator and an escort following in a second vehicle will drive the patron home in his or her own car.

This ensures the person arrives home safely with their vehicle in tow. Clients can make donations that go toward Regina’s youth sports organizations.

Ed Edwards, committee chair for the Queen City Kinsmen (Operation Red Nose Regina’s host organization) said the push is just starting, but a good response is expected. Sherwood Co-op is offering support in the form of gift cards that volunteers can use to pay for fuel.

Guylaine Beaupré, executive director of Operation Red Nose National, said awareness is the main challenge the organization wants to overcome.

“It takes a certain amount of time to have the program known and be used in the province,” she said.

“You have to know about Red Nose, call Red Nose and then the habit kicks in and then it becomes more used and has a bigger impact on the community.”

According to Mayor Michael Fougere, the campaign is off to a strong start in Regina. “Every time you start a campaign, it takes time to build up,” he said.

This year, Operation Red Nose’s service will reach as far as White City. When asked about any challenges the operation faced, “-50” immediately leaped from Edwards’ mouth. Volunteers had to leave their vehicles running to ensure their transportation didn’t succumb to the cold.

“We felt a safe ride home at Christmas was a community need that needs to be covered,” he said.

The program has resonated with the public, with last year seeing numerous repeat customers.

“They got home with their vehicle, they woke up in the morning, and their car was in the driveway, and they got home safely,” Edwards said.

Regina Police Chief Troy Hagen certainly appreciates the help, as he feels “There’s nothing worse than having to knock on a door ... and do a death notification as a result of impaired driving.”Those interested in volunteering can fill out applications with the Kinsmen. Transportation services run from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Nov. 28, 29, and Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 and 31.

Last holiday season (Dec. 1, 2013-Jan. 3, 2014) Red Nose results

  • 615 provincial Operation Red Nose volunteers
  • 725 rides provided in Saskatchewan
  • 60 Regina volunteers
  • 146 rides provided in Regina
  • 129 Saskatoon volunteers
  • 149 rides provided in Saskatoon
  • Those not using designated drivers
  • 106 collisions involving alcohol in Saskatchewan, 35 involving injuries
  • 29 collisions involving alcohol in Regina, resulting in four injuries
  • 26 collisions involving alcohol in Saskatoon, resulting in four injuries

Source: Leader Post


Last updated on: 2014-11-29 | Link to this post