Operation Red Nose mascot, Rudy, is seen at a road check with Langley RCMP on Dec. 9, 2019. The volunteer safe-ride service has been cancelled this year across Canada as a result of COVID-19. (Michelle Cowan/Special to Black Press)

Operation Red Nose mascot, Rudy, is seen at a road check with Langley RCMP on Dec. 9, 2019. The volunteer safe-ride service has been cancelled this year across Canada as a result of COVID-19. (Michelle Cowan/Special to Black Press)

Operation Red Nose Chilliwack cancels service this holiday season due to COVID-19

Asking people to plan safe way to get home by calling relative, cab, or designating sober driver

People who were planning on using Operation Red Nose (ORN) as their safe ride home this year will have to find other modes of transportation for the holiday season.

The volunteer safe-ride service will not be going ahead for 2020 due to COVID-19. The cancellation is in effect not just in Chilliwack, but across Canada.

“Given the current public health situation and considering its logistical impacts, Operation Red Nose has decided not to provide its safe-ride service nationally, which includes our region,” ORN Chilliwack announced Tuesday in a release.

To help keep impaired drivers off the roads, ORN is asking people to plan ahead for a safe way to get home by calling a relative, a cab, or designating a sober driver.

RELATED: Fatal Vision goggles give drivers an impaired-driving experience in Chilliwack

“The safety of our volunteers, clients, and local host organizations has always been one of our top priorities,” said Jean-Philippe Giroux, ORN executive director.

Given the pandemic protocols from Dr. Bonnie Henry, ORN Chilliwack expected they would have received fewer calls this season than in previous years, said Ken Smith who has volunteered with ORN Chilliwack for 10 years.

“[We] still want to promote the importance of planning ahead to get home safe. Our awareness message remains the same, and we are counting on everyone to continue planning for a safe way home,” Smith said.

How ORN works is a team of three volunteers will go out in an escort vehicle to pick up the client. Then a driver and navigator chauffeur the client home in their own vehicle while the escort ride follows behind to deliver the team to its next destination.

It’s a by-donation service and every year ORN Chilliwack brings in more than $10,000. One hundred per cent of the money is used to help fund local youth or amateur sports projects via the Kiwanis Club of Sardis.

ORN was launched in Quebec in 1984 and it has locations in various cities throughout the country. The Kiwanis Club of Sardis has been organizing and providing the service here in Chilliwack for the past eight years.

Last year in Chilliwack, the service provided 532 rides to 1,092 passengers, raising almost $12,000 in ride donations.

In November, ORN Chilliwack will reveal the details of its 2020 awareness campaign, which will exclude the safe-ride service this year.

“ORN Chilliwack wishes to thank all volunteers and sponsors for their support year after year. The 2020 campaign will certainly be different, but we know that we will be able to count on their support to get through this unusual period and meet again in 2021, with our red vests on, to safely drive people home in our community,” the release stated.

RELATED: Suspected drunk driver crashes into Kamloops Operation Red Nose vehicles


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirusimpaired driving

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

Just Posted

Youth-Led Summit May 20-21 to tackle inclusion and accessibility for Chilliwack youth. (YAC)
Youth-led summit tackles inclusion and accessibility for Chilliwack youth

‘This is a chance to listen to youth and hear what they have to say,’ says Chilliwack Youth

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. (File photo)
UPDATE: 2 cougars killed following attack in Harrison Mills

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

....
Abbotsford graphic designer pitches Flyers rebrand for AHL team

Alex Svarez suggests new affiliate team turns back the clock and brings back Flyers moniker

Mike Haire, a former vice-principal at W. A. Fraser Middle School in Abbotsford, began court proceedings on Monday, May 3 in New Westminster for two child pornography offences.
Trial paused for former Abbotsford vice-principal charged with child porn

Judge reserves decision on admissibility of evidence against Mike Haire

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

FILE – A plexiglass barrier is pictured creating a barrier to protect a cashier at a grocery store in North Vancouver, B.C. Sunday, March 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Grocery store workers now eligible for COVID vaccines in Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal

Workers will be fast-tracked through the system, which is otherwise booking for people in their 50s

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Most Read