The provincial government, police and ICBC have launched the December CounterAttack campaign.
The goal is to have drivers 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, police statistics (2000-2013) show an average of 86 lives are still lost every year in British Columbia.
ICBC is trying to prevent impaired driving this December through a month-long education campaign, funding CounterAttack roadside checks, and promoting of designated drivers with businesses, sports facilities and community groups.
According to ICBC’s statistics, on average, 29 people are killed in crashes involving impaired driving in the Southern Interior every year.
Local RCMP Cpl. Darren King says Cariboo Chilcotin Traffic Services and the 100 Mile House RCMP are out in full force during the provincial CounterAttack winter program, which runs from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1.
The RCMP is reminding drivers to use good judgment and not drink and drive, he says. Designate someone to get you home safely during this holiday season, King adds.
“Impaired driving continues to be a major contributing factor to fatal collisions during throughout the province of B.C.”
Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, notes that even after more than 35 years, CounterAttack remains a cornerstone of the provincial enforcement strategies that, together with changing public attitudes and the government’s tough Immediate Roadside Prohibition program, have helped to reduce the alcohol-related death toll on B.C. roads to record lows.
Says Chief Neil Dubord, B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee chair: “Police officers across B.C. will be working hard to keep impaired drivers off our roads this December.
“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.”