ON Friday, the B.C. government, police and ICBC launched the December CounterAttack campaign to urge drivers to plan ahead for a safe ride home if their holiday festivities involve alcohol.
While attitudes toward drinking and driving have changed considerably over the years, an average of 86 lives are still lost every year in B.C.
“Even after more than 35 years, CounterAttack remains a cornerstone of our provincial enforcement strategies that, together with changing public attitudes and our tough Immediate Roadside Prohibition program, have helped to reduce the alcohol-related death toll on B.C. roads to record lows,” said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “CounterAttack remains about preserving and building on these vital public safety gains.”
“Getting home safely should be part of everyone’s holiday planning but the reality is that impaired driving remains a leading cause of car crash fatalities in B.C.,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Do your part this Christmas season and look out for family and friends – take a stand and don’t let them get behind the wheel impaired.”
“Police officers across B.C. will be working hard to keep impaired drivers off our roads this December,” said Chief Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “The hardest part of a police officer’s job is telling a family they’ve lost a loved one – a loss that could have been avoided. We can all help prevent these crashes by always planning a safe ride home.”
“We want everyone to enjoy the holidays with their family and friends so make sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home,” said John Dickinson, ICBC’s Director of Road Safety. “Take your turn as the designated driver, call a taxi, take transit or use Operation Red Nose.”
ICBC’s helping to prevent impaired driving this December through a month-long education campaign, funding for CounterAttack roadchecks and promotion of designated drivers with businesses, sports facilities and community groups.
ICBC also supports Operation Red Nose, a volunteer service in 25 B.C. communities that provides safe rides to drivers who have been drinking or feel too tired to drive during the holidays.
For an infographic that highlights interesting facts about impaired driving and more on the CounterAttack campaign, visit icbc.com.
* On average, 23 people are killed in crashes involving impaired driving in the Lower Mainland every year.
* On average, 29 people are killed in crashes involving impaired driving in the Southern Interior every year.
* On average, 13 people are killed in crashes involving impaired driving on Vancouver Island every year.
* On average, 22 people are killed in crashes involving impaired driving in North Central B.C. every year.
Crashes and injured victims from ICBC data (2009 to 2013); fatal victims from police data (2009 to 2013). Impaired is defined to include alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.