Williams Lake RCMP Cst. Derek Henderson

Local groups force drunk drivers off the road

Every year in December an average of five people are killed in B.C. from crashes involving impaired driving.

Every year in December an average of five people are killed in B.C. from crashes involving impaired driving, ICBC said in a press releaseThursday.

“While attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed considerably over the years, an average of 95 lives are still lost each year and impaired driving remains a leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C.”

Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton said B.C. has come a long way since 1976, the year before CounterAttack roadchecks started, when more than 300 people were killed in impaired-related crashes each year in B.C. each year.

“Despite the progress, the numbers are far too high, which is why we’re committed to reducing crashes involving alcohol and drugs and will continue to support enhanced enforcement, including the December CounterAttack campaign.”

In Williams Lake two local campaigns hope to keep those statistics at bay.

Operation Red Nose kicks off Friday Nov. 28 and the Williams Lake RCMP’s CounterAttack begins Friday, Dec. 6.

“To use Operation Red Nose people have to have a car, we’re not in competition with the taxis,” said Safer Communities Co-ordinator, Dave Dickson. “Otherwise we say please call a taxi and we give them the number.”

Each year local organizations provide drivers to cover the shifts throughout the month.

This year the Blue Fins Swim Club, Williams Lake Gymnastics Club, Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddlers and the Williams Lake Skating Club have stepped up to the plate.

Dickson said volunteers from the Laker’s Car Club, Rotary and community policing will also help out.

“We’re in good shape.”

The automotive dealerships have stepped up to the plate to provide vehicles, Panago Pizza and Taylor Made Cakes are providing snacks for drivers, Canadian Mental Health is providing a headquarters space and Mike Austin Financial the phones, Dickson said.

People can access the service by phoning 250-392-2222 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and New Year’s Eve.


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