Plan for a safe ride home this holiday season

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

SYDNEY, NS, Nov. 24 /CNW/ - Again this holiday season, Operation Red Nose (ORN), Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) and the CBU Students' Union - supported by hundreds of dedicated community 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. In Sydney during the 2008 campaign over 250 volunteers helped to keep more than 500 potentially impaired drivers and 235 vehicles off of CBRM's roads and highways over just eight nights of operation.

In Nova Scotia, the service will be offered on weekends from November 27 to December 19 in three communities: Halifax, Sydney and Truro. Insurance Bureau of Canada's contribution includes $250,000 in sponsorship dollars, plus advertising and promotional items, media relations, administrative support and insurance for volunteers. Last year, campaigns throughout Nova Scotia raised $13,081 in donations. Also, in recognition of this effort from volunteers across Nova Scotia, IBC matched the funds in Sydney, Truro and Halifax for a total donation of $27,000 largely focussed on safe grad festivities in each of those communities. ORN returns to Sydney in 2009 under the direction of Kristen McNeil, Goodwill Coordinator for the CBU Students' Union. "The appreciation we receive for running this program at the end of each holiday season is a great reward in itself," McNeil added that funds raised will once again be donated to local Safe Grad programs.

"Operation Red Nose increases public awareness about enjoying the season while making responsible choices," said Bill Adams, VP Atlantic, IBC. "Our goal is to keep the festive season festive by preventing the needless tragedies that result from impaired driving. 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 for another year in Nova Scotia."

Mr. Adams also announced, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Bill Estabrooks will take on the role of Honorary 2009 Campaign Chair for NS. Minister Estabrooks has also shared his comments on road safety and prevention, "at this festive time of the year, initiatives like Operation Red Nose are an important reminder that we all have a responsibility to prevent impaired driving."

Rick Perkins NSLC Vice President speaks to their support of the program, "Operation Red Nose is a key holiday service that the NSLC is proud to support," adding that, "As part of the NSLC's responsibility to promote the moderate and safe consumption of alcohol, Operation Red Nose is a service that we encourage all Nova Scotians to consider when they are enjoying this holiday occasion."

Operation Red Nose and volunteers

Operation Red Nose would not be able to provide its safe-ride-home service in Nova Scotia 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.

ORN invites everyone in Halifax, Sydney and Truro 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 Nova Scotia, 688 volunteers took part in the 2008 campaign, providing 786 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: For Insurance Bureau of Canada, please contact: Corinne MacLellan, Operation Red Nose, athena.corad@ns.sympatico.ca, (902) 209-3234; For Operation Red Nose, please contact: Aurélie Levy, Director of Communications & Marketing, Operation Red Nose, alevy@operationnezrouge.com, (418) 653-1492; For NSLC, please contact: Rick Perkins, VP - Communications & Corporate Responsibility, NSLC, rick.perkins@myNSLC.com, (902) 450-5926


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