B.C.'s tough impaired driving laws are ramping up demand for the services of Operation Red Nose, the volunteer service that aims to get revellers safely home with their own vehicle.
Provincial spokesperson Chris Wilson says the service operates on Friday and Saturday evenings in December between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m..
"Two volunteers would normally drive with the client. The third volunteer drives behind in their vehicle, once they get the client to where they need to go, make sure they've got their keys and they're safe, the designated driver and the navigator hops into the escort driver's car and go to the next person who needs a ride."
Wilson says demand is growing each year, especially since the new drunk driving laws came into effect, and last year Operation Red Nose provided more than 8,000 rides in 25 communities around the province.
With one of the busiest holiday party weekends upon us, new volunteers are welcome, he says.
"Everybody is extremely positive, when they find out you're volunteering your time on a Friday and Saturday night during the busy time of year," said Wilson.
To volunteer, or arrange a ride, go to OperationRedNose.com or call 1-877-604-6673. The service is free, but they do take donations for local charities.
This year ICBC is providing auto insurance for the service in the following communities:
- New Westminster
- North Shore (North Vancouver & West Vancouver)
- Prince George
- Ridge Meadows (Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows)
- Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and surrounding communities)
- Williams Lake