Opération Nez Rouge volunteers helped more than 76,000 people across the country arrive home safely by acting as “designated drivers” during the holiday party season.
Some 52,000 people volunteered their time for the 31st year of the campaign, giving rides to people too tired or who had consumed too much alcohol to drive their cars themselves.
“For us, the goal of keeping the roads safe during the holiday season is once again reached,” said Opération Nez Rouge spokesman David Latouche.
People use the service by calling a hotline where drivers are dispatched to wherever the client is with their car.
The volunteers then drive the client’s car home with them, so they don’t have to get behind the wheel themselves.
Though the program is free, donations are accepted.
Making a difference
The service was available in 99 Canadian regions, in seven provinces.
As usual, the service was most popular in Quebec, with more than 55,000 rides.
“You make a difference in your communities. And you have to continue your work by reminding your fellow citizens to go home safely throughout the year,” Latouche said to volunteers.
This year, about $1.5 million in donations were collected.
Latouche says these funds will be donated to local youth organizations.
Nearing 2 million rides
Since the program began in 1984, Operation Nez Rouge has helped over 1,992,000 people get home safe.
Next year, organizers expect the program will reach two million rides.
“By approaching this historic milestone, Opération Nez Rouge is consolidating its position as a major player in road safety in the country, and establish itself as a fixture in raising awareness for responsible driving,” said Nez Rouge founder Jean-Marie de Koninck, in a statement.
Last year, Opération Nez Rouge gave more than 82,000 rides.
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