Road lit up to help people get home safely during the holidays
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Operation Red Nose: Get Home Safely During the Holidays

‘Tis the season to have a drink or three. After all, it’s Christmas, so who’s counting anyway? Well, the police will be if they have to pull you over for swerving all over the road on your way home from the evening festivities. It’s a scenario you really want to avoid for all kinds of reasons – most of all your safety and the safety of others. Enter: Operation Red Nose...

The holiday season is ripe with opportunities to get behind the wheel after you’ve had one drink too many. Office parties, friendly gatherings, engagements with family, it’s an exhaustively festive time and the social pressure to drink can be high. But you don’t need to take any risks. 

Operation Red Nose—named after the most famous of reindeers—provides rides to drivers and their passengers who feel unfit to drive for any reason – no questions asked. 

It was started in Quebec City around 1984 by a math professor who wanted to raise funds for his swim team. Dismayed by the local impaired driving problem, his team offered rides over the Christmas break for donations. Today it’s a nationwide initiative with more than 100 participating organizations across Canada!

We’ll show you how Operation Red Nose works and how you can take advantage of this volunteer service when you or someone you know gets a little too merry.

How Operation Red Nose works

Simply contact Operation Red Nose on a Friday and/or Saturday night during the holiday season – between the dates of November 29 and December 21, plus New Year’s Eve – and a team of three volunteers will come to help you get home safely. 

One volunteer will drive your vehicle for you, another will help navigate (in case your evening’s festivities prevent you from communicating clearly), while a third volunteer will follow along and pick up the other volunteers once they drop you off.

If you are feeling generous, then donations are graciously accepted by the volunteers. Any proceeds go to fund local youth sport and other non-for-profits groups, so don’t be a scrooge!

Check here to see if Operation Red Nose operates in your area. 

How to contact Operation Red Nose when you need a ride

Once you’ve confirmed that Operation Red Nose is available in your area, then use the local number provided on their website. However, the easiest way to use the service is to download the easy-to-use app, Red Nose. It’s available for Google Play and Apple Store.

Here is what it looks like:

Operation Red Nose App Screenshot

Here are some of its features: 

  • Calling: Location tracking means all you have to do is call and the device will automatically connect you to the nearest Operation Red Nose.
  • Reminders: If you have a big Christmas party coming up, you can set a reminder to let you know when to call a taxi, friend, or Operation Red Nose.
  • Wait times: Available only in some busier Quebec locations, this will tell you how long the wait time is before your ride shows up.
  • Application form: If you’re the type who doesn’t mind being the designated driver, then you can easily sign up for volunteer duty with Operation Red Nose.

That’s all you need to know about using Operation Red Nose. Now have a safe and happy holiday season!

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