Rudy, the Operation Red Nose mascot. (Black Press Media files)

Operation Red Nose cancels safe ride service due to COVID-19 risks

Organization operates in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

A longstanding program to curb impaired driving is cancelling its safe ride service for the first time in nearly 40 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Operation Red Nose, which operates a service where volunteers will drive impaired people – and their cars – home, has been running since 1984. It began in Quebec, where it was founded by mathematics professor Jean-Marie De Koninck as a way to raise funds for the university swim team and reduce drunk driving.

Since then, the organization has begun operating in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

“After careful consideration of the current public health situation and its logistical impact on the service, Operation Red Nose has decided not to provide its famous safe ride service during the 2020 holiday season,” executive director Jean-Philippe Giroux said in a statement Tuesday (Oct. 7).

” The decision was made after long and careful consideration, and not without emotion.”

However, the organization will launch an awareness campaign in November to encourage people to plan a safe ride home.

ALSO READ: Suspected drunk driver crashes into Kamloops Operation Red Nose vehicles

ALSO READ: B.C. records 102 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths; officials say curve is flattening


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusimpaired driving

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bear sightings have been reported in a residential area in Summerland in late October. The Conservation Officer Service is urging people to take measures so bears are not drawn to the area (Black Press file photo)
Bear sightings reported from Summerland neighbourhood

Conservation Officer Service urges people not to leave garbage outside

Melissa Leveque claims that on June 2, 2020 she spilled hot tea on her lap due to negligence on the part of staff at Penticton’s Riverside Starbucks drive-thru. (Google maps photo)
Woman sues Starbucks over hot tea spill at Penticton drive-thru

Melissa Leveque claims she suffered second degree burns, seeking $35,000

File photo of Kerrilynn Milton from 2013.
Former Downtown Penticton Association head to have trial by jury and judge

Kerrilynn Milton was charged with fraud over $5,000 and falsifying documents

Naramata Slow is almost at its goal of raising $850,000 to save Centre Beach from being sold.
Community goes above and beyond fundraising goal to save Naramata beach

The NaramataSlow’s fundraiser has received $860,000 in donations to their $850,000 goal

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as fake Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

One Peak Creative has made a catapult which allows children to receive candy in a socially distanced fashion. (Onepeakcreative - Instagram)
Kelowna production company creates Halloween catapult

One Peak Creative promoted the product by making a reality TV style video

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

A man was caught on surveillance taking a large outdoor heater from the patio at Intermezzo early morning Wednesday, Oct. 28. (Contributed)
WATCH: Heater theft leaves Okanagan business cold

Patio heater stolen from Intermezzo, found trashed

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP and a local Vernon man are asking the public to keep their eyes peeled for a unique piece of art stolen from Chris Saunders’ Okanagan Landing home Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. (Chris Saunders - Contributed)
Unique work of art stolen from Vernon man’s courtyard

‘Theft and trespass violations are getting out of control in Okanagan Landing’

SilverStar Mountain Resort is nominated as one of 20 of North America’s most favourite ski resorts in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice 2020. Winners will be announced Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (SilverStar Mountain Resort - Facebook)
SilverStar tapped as one of North America’s favourites by USA Today

‘We are so humbled to be nominated,’ says Vernon resort’s communications manager

Most Read