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Planning for Holiday Driving

Planning for Holiday Driving

November 27, 2019

The holiday season is now upon us and that means family get-togethers, office parties, and nights out with friends are in full swing for many of us. For some, this may involve celebrations that involve drinking and cannabis – and the priority that should now be placed on planning ahead and ensuring a safe ride home, so that you don’t get behind the wheel.

According to ICBC, 68 people die each year in crashes involving impaired driving – many of those during the winter season. It is important to note that the word ‘impaired’ does not just apply to the use of alcohol. In fact, according to the Government of Canada, the percentage of Canadian drivers killed in vehicle crashes who tested positive for drugs (40%) now outweighs those that are under the influence of alcohol (33%).

Another thing to consider is that BC has the toughest laws in the country when it comes to impaired driving – so, you not only put you and other drivers and pedestrians at risk, but could potentially ruin your own life. Some of the penalties for impaired driving include:

  • Driving suspensions from 24 hours to 90 days
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Fines, from $600 and up to $4,060
  • Jail time
  • Mandatory rehabilitation
  • Installation of ignition interlock in your vehicle

You may also have to pay a Driver Risk Premium, on top of your insurance. If you crash while driving impaired, you’re likely in breach of your insurance policy. That means you could be personally responsible for 100 per cent of the costs if you damage someone else’s property or injure them.

BC has many options for you to choose to ensure you get home safe – particularly during the busy holiday season. There are designated driver services available such as Operation Red Nose, BCAA’s Safe-Ride-Home Service, and Sober Drivers. There are also options such as Kater, taxis, and public transit. You can also consider having a designated driver, so you have a guaranteed safe ride home.

If you’re still not convinced that common sense should apply, December is a time where CounterAttack is in full swing. CounterAttack is a police-run roadblock tactic that catches drug and alcohol impaired drivers.

And a final caution to all drivers. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Put down your cellphone or any other device that may take your attention away from the road. When you are behind the wheel, focus on the road. There is no excuse to pick up your phone or to drive under the influence. Allow everyone to enjoy the holiday season – because the alternative is simply not worth it.

For the latest information on car careers in BC’s automotive industry, visit: https://carsandjobs.com/.

NCDA of BC has provided more than $500,000 in grants and scholarships to help fund the learning and growth of automotive students since 2005. For the month of October, there were 15,930 new vehicle sales in BC.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca

Dealer Members with New Car Dealers Association

We represent more than 375 New Car Dealers throughout British Columbia.