Drinking and driving is no joke. During last year’s holiday season it took the lives of three people and left 44 injured in Saskatchewan.

With the holiday season fast approaching, getting home safe after a fun night out is more important than ever.

Operation Red Nose aims to help with that.

“You shouldn’t have to bury a friend or sister or brother,” said Edward Edwards, the coordinator behind the Regina chapter of Operation Red Nose. “I unfortunately by the time I was about 18 had buried about 7 people from drinking and driving,”

It’s a sobering reminder about the dangers of drunk driving. It’s also what drives Edward to promote volunteer-based service.

“When you’re done your Christmas party and you’ve driven to the party and you’ve had some drinks and you want a safe ride home then you call us. A team of three will come to your event where you are and pick you up and put you in the back seat. They are a volunteer driver and navigator and will hop in the front seat and drive you home,” he explained.

The service began operating more than 30 years ago, but was first brought to Saskatchewan in 2008.

This is actually the Regina’s chapter third year in operation, which will be in service from November 27 to December 31.

It’s a free service that only requires one phone call, and a donation, if possible, from the user – a formula endorsed by police and SGI.

“Impaired driving is just not acceptable,” said Regina Police Superintendent Corey Zahruk. “Impaired driving also means driving even if you’ve had one or two drinks.”

“We have, unfortunately, people that don’t make the smart decisions and we see collisions, injuries and fatalities every holiday season with alcohol involved and it’s so preventable,” said Don McMorris, the minister responsible for SGI.

Now there’s an app to make the process even easier. This year, Operations Red Nose released an app available to both apple and android users that will allow people to access the contact information for their local operation and to set an alarm reminding them to call.

“We decided this year was going to be the time to bring it on and we had it translated and adapted to all the communities because we’re in 2015,” said Guylaine Beaupré, executive director for Operation Red Nose National.

While you can’t actually book your ride on the app just yet, organizers are still expecting an increase in demand.

“The first year we had 146 rides home, this last year we had 221 rides home,” Edwards said. “If it goes up again then we should be looking at 325 rides home.”

Source: Global News


Last updated on: 2015-11-20 | Link to this post