Ride Program Kicks Off in Thunder Bay

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The Festive Ride program is starting.
The Festive Ride program statistics from Sudbury show the community Joined Thunder Bay in Increased numbers of drivers charged.

The Festive Ride program is starting.
The Festive Ride program is starting.

Drinking and Driving Means Getting Caught

THUNDER BAY – For most people, drinking and driving is simply no longer acceptable. During the holiday season, the Thunder Bay Police, Anishinabek Police and the Ontario Provincial Police have officially kicked off the Festive Season RIDE Program this afternoon on Arthur Street.

All three agencies will be working together as they have in previous years to present a highly visible presence in an effort to deter impaired driving.

Mac’s has kindly sponsored Operation Heat for another year, and have given officers the ability to reward sober and designated drivers with a hot drink alternative. Officers will be handing out coupons that can be redeemed for either a hot chocolate or similar beverage at any Mac’s location.

In a media statement, Thunder Bay Police say, “Late November and early December is generally when workplace socials start, and police will be very focused on being present during the day and afternoon hours to talk to drivers returning home from such events. As we move later into the month, licensed establishments become busier later into the night and early morning. Police will be ready to meet those drivers as well. Finally, we will be out talking to drivers who are going to and from family events at the later part of December and of course New Years Eve” .

Unlike many major cities, where Transit runs all night on New Years, in Thunder Bay Transit shuts down on its normal schedule. However there are designated drivers, taxi cabs, and the option to use several of the services out in Thunder Bay including Operation Red Nose.

Police are promising changes to the standard RIDE program this year. The program now into the third decade as a deterrent to the life threatening risk of impaired driving.

For most people, the social stigma of being an impaired driver is enough. For a small number, and hopefully smaller and smaller number every year, those drivers just don’t seem to care.

Social Media Impacts Ride Programs

 

TBPS says, “Little changed for the first two decades, with police straying very little from the standard road block techniques that many of us have come to expect. And then along came social media and texting….

“Police are aware that many now use this means to attempt to foil the efforts of the police. News of locations can spread in an instant, thus providing method for the determined to elude police efforts”.

Police will be spending less time in any one location. Roadblocks will be less conspicuous. Rural RIDE programs will be all but invisible until the driver is actually stopped. There will be less emphasis on blocking major arteries and more concern on less traveled routes.

Drivers can expect police to be setting up in neighborhoods. It sounds like by the time you get that text telling you were not to go, this year you will be getting caught.

Police encourage everyone to simply enjoy the holidays responsibly and safely. With options such as Operation Rednose and designated drivers, many have learned that it’s just better not to drive and take a chance.