Three years after Operation Red Nose folded in Nova Scotia, a former co-ordinator says weekend drunk driving arrest statistics left her feeling slightly ill.

“I had a pit in the bottom of my stomach,” said Corinne MacLellan on Monday. “The Monday after a weekend of operation (Red Nose), I would always hold my breath a little bit to hear how did we do.”

RCMP in Halifax issued a press release Saturday stating that nine drivers were arrested for impaired driving in an eight-hour period Friday night.

Operation Red Nose was the program under which volunteers would give holiday partygoers a ride home in their own vehicle if they’d had a little too much to drink.

MacLellan said the program may have helped get some drunk drivers off the road over the years, but said its real value lay in raising public awareness about impaired driving.

“It did get into folks’ consciousness around this time of year and say, 'okay, I gotta make a plan to get home,'” she said.

High fuel and insurance costs forced organizers to shut down Red Nose in Nova Scotia after the 2011 season.

MacLellan said there’s still plenty of people who call every year to ask if it’s coming back, and suggested there’s enough appetite for a similar service to return.

“There’s such a grassroots effort that exists, hundreds of volunteers – and thousands of people who use the service,” she said.

RCMP Cpl. Greg Church said there were several factors that contributed to the weekend arrests, including the use of statistical analysis to choose locations for the checkpoints that nabbed four of the nine drivers.

“Our goal is to make the roads as safe as possible for the public,” he said. “So by using all of the resources, all of the intelligence-led policing and assistance from the public and being very vigilant in stopping as many vehicles as we can, it contributed to the overall success.”

Source: Truro Daily News


Last updated on: 2014-12-23 | Link to this post