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Getting home safe on New Year’s

POWELL RIVER, B.C.- New Year’s is a time to celebrate, while making sure everyone gets home safely.

In a release this week, ICBC noted that on New Year’s Eve alone, one person is killed and 170 people are injured in 620 crashes.

The insurance corporation defines New Year’s Eve as 6 p.m. on December 31st to midnight on January 1st, including the full January 1st day.

Police ramp up enforcement over the holidays at CounterAttack road-checks across the province, with the impaired driving program is in its 40th year. Despite all the progress made over that time, ICBC said impaired driving still remains a top contributing factors for fatal crashes in British Columbia.

“Making the wrong choice to drive while you’re impaired could have tremendous impacts and consequences for not only your life but the lives of others,” said Chief Constable Neil Dubord in the release. Dubord serves as the Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee.

“We don’t want to have to inform any families that they’ve lost their loved one this New Year’s Eve. There’s no excuse. If you’re planning to drink, leave your car at home.”

In its release, ICBC suggested that when hosting a party, prepare tasty non-alcoholic drinks and snacks for designated drivers. Other safe ride home options include taking a taxi, or transit.

“We want everyone to ring in the New Year safely with their friends and family,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety.

“The fact is, impaired driving crashes and the painful aftermath they cause are completely preventable. If your New Year’s Eve celebrations involve alcohol, plan ahead for a safe ride home.”

According to ICBC, every year on New Year’s Eve, an average of 20 people are injured in 80 crashes on Vancouver Island.

On the Lower Mainland, an average of 120 people are injured in 410 crashes on New Year’s Eve.

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