THIS year’s holiday CounterAttack campaign is kicking off this weekend with roadchecks set up across the province. The B.C. government, police and ICBC are urging drivers to plan ahead and make smart decisions to get home safely this holiday season.
More than half of impaired-related crashes (56 per cent) occur on the weekend (Friday to Sunday). Police across the province will be setting up roadchecks to keep impaired drivers off the roads throughout December.
Impaired driving remains a leading cause of fatal car crashes, with an average of 68 lives lost every year in B.C.
For more than 40 years, ICBC has supported impaired driving education campaigns and funded CounterAttack enhanced police enforcement. ICBC also provides free special event permit kits for businesses, sports facilities and community groups to promote the get home safe message.
ICBC is a sponsor of Operation Red Nose, a volunteer service in 20 B.C. communities that provides safe rides to drivers who feel unfit to drive, no matter the reason. This service is available from November 29 until December 21 on Friday and Saturday nights, and New Year’s Eve.
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said: “CounterAttack remains a vital, strategic enforcement measure. Most people have got the message that driving after drinking or consuming drugs is dangerous. However, there are still those willing to take a chance with the lives of themselves, their passengers and other road users. CounterAttack makes intercepting those people job number one.”
Superintendent Holly Turton, Vice-Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee, added: “We fully support the CounterAttack campaign and will be out in force over the holiday season to deter impaired driving. Police will utilize mandatory alcohol screening, Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and Drug Recognition Experts to identify and remove alcohol and drug affected drivers from our roads to make BC’s roads some of the safest in the world.”
Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Driver Licensing, said: “We want everyone to enjoy the holidays with family and friends so make sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home. Whether you’re attending a holiday get-together or meeting friends to watch a game, if your festivities involve alcohol, please leave your car at home or find an alternate way to get home safe – use a designated driver, call a taxi, take transit or use Operation Red Nose.”