Plan for a safe ride home this holiday season

Operation Red Nose - Call us, we'll drive you in your own car for free

KINGSTON, ON, Nov. 4 /CNW/ - Again this holiday season, Operation Red Nose (ORN), its provincial sponsor Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and provincial host Ontario Safety League (OSL) - supported by dedicated volunteers - are making sure partygoers and their cars get home safely.

During the holidays, plan your safe ride home. Operation Red Nose encourages you to celebrate responsibly by designating a sober driver, staying overnight or calling a relative, a cab or ORN for a ride.

ORN will get partygoers home safely in their own vehicles for free. In Ontario, the service will be offered on weekends from November 27, 2009 to December 31, 2009 in 12 communities: Bolton, Borden, Brampton, Burlington, Chatham-Kent, Hearst, Kingston, Newmarket-Aurora, North Bay, Quinte, Sudbury and Thunder Bay.

The ORN program is recognized in the province as an excellent and practical way for communities to fight impaired driving during the holiday season.

"Our goal is to keep the festive season festive by preventing the needless tragedies that result from impaired driving," said Dennis Prouse, Director of Federal Government Relations, Insurance Bureau of Canada. "Operation Red Nose is a natural extension of our industry's long-term commitment to road safety, and we are delighted to be a part of this important program again this year."

"We are fortunate to have the Operation Red Nose program in Kingston, and we very much appreciate the dedicated volunteers who make this possible. Partygoers simply have to plan ahead and use a designated driver or the services of the ORN program to help ensure a safe and festive holiday season," said Stephen Tanner, Chief of Police, Kingston Police Services.

Operation Red Nose and volunteers

Operation Red Nose would not be able to provide its safe-ride-home service in Ontario without the help of hundreds of volunteers who donate their time as drivers, phone operators and coordinators during the busiest time of the year.

"Volunteering for Operation Red Nose is certainly a tangible way to serve your community while having a great time during the holidays," said Jean-Marie De Koninck, Founding President of ORN.

"Like all those engaged in the fight against impaired driving, we will never know how many people are positively influenced by these public awareness initiatives," said Brian Patterson, President and General Manager, Ontario Safety League. "What we do know is that when ORN volunteers are out talking to the public across the province, they hear that people are planning ahead to find a safe way home. We would like to welcome the following new communities: Bolton, Borden, Brampton, Burlington and Thunder Bay that have joined the 2009 Operation Red Nose campaign."

ORN invites everyone in ORN communities in Ontario to experience this service as a volunteer for one night - or more! Anyone interested in volunteering can download an application form at www.operationrednose.com.

Operation Red Nose in Canada

The famous Operation Red Nose service will be bringing its program to Saskatchewan for the very first time this year. A total of eight provinces will be hosting the campaign in 2009: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Altogether, more than 100 communities across Canada will be offering the ORN service this holiday season.

Since 1984, no less than 787,940 Operation Red Nose volunteers have provided a total of 1,506,421 rides in Canada. In Ontario, 2,903 volunteers took part in the 2008 campaign, providing 3,918 rides to partygoers in the province. The ORN service is free, but donations are accepted and will be given to local youth or amateur sport organizations.

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent nearly 95% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 110,000 Canadians, pays more than $6 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $38 billion.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: For further information: Ontario Safety League: Brian J. Patterson, C.F.E., President and General Manager, bpatterson@osl.org, (416) 629-2890; Insurance Bureau of Canada: Ellen Woodger, ellen.woodger@sympatico.ca, (416) 483-2358; Operation Red Nose: Aurélie Levy, Director of Communications & Marketing, alevy@operationnezrouge.com, (418) 653-1492


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