EDITORIAL: 'Tis the season to call Operation Red Nose

Operation Red Nose, the annual safe-ride-home program, begins this weekend in Kamloops and across Canada, which offers a timely reminder of the need to hand over the keys if you have had too many drinks.

In the coming days, police will be setting up Counter Attack road blocks and, as in years past, we will all note our surprise that so many people continue to drive while having a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit.

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True, it is the season when alcohol starts flowing freely and people partake in some Christmas cheer, which is why Operation Red Nose exists.

Police have pointed out that more than half of impaired driving crashes happen on the weekend. Another statistic from the provincial government shows that alcohol-related fatal crashes were down 50 per cent in 2018 from 2010.

The main difference is that 2018 included the immediate roadside prohibition program. Its goal had been a 35 per cent reduction.

In terms of how many people in B.C. have received various driving prohibitions from police so far in 2019, the numbers are low compared to previous years, sitting at 12,791 through September.

Comparatively, the last three years have all seen between 21,000 and 24,000 driving prohibitions issued.

We expect those numbers will rise as impaired-driving blitzes increase.

But we can all prove that prognostication wrong by simply not drinking and driving. Call a cab. Call a friend. Call Operation Red Nose. And, soon (please hurry up, B.C. NDP), you will be able to call a ride-hailing service.

By choosing not to drink and drive this Christmas season, not only will the community thank you, you’ll be doing the best thing you can do for yourself.

© Kamloops This Week


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