Newsroom

Find a Service Location

ICBC urges drivers to plan safe rides for NYE & shares best tales from designated drivers

December 29, 2015

Holiday season

On New Year's Eve, an average of two people are killed and 200 are injured in more than 600 crashes every year on B.C. roads.* In the last five years, three people have also been killed in impaired driving related crashes on New Year's Eve.**

During the holidays, CounterAttack roadchecks are in full swing across the province to help keep impaired drivers off our roads.

If you'll be enjoying a few drinks while you ring in the New Year, plan ahead for a safe ride home. There are so many options to get home safely – from arranging a designated driver or limo service to calling a taxi, taking transit or calling Operation Red Nose which operates in 25 B.C. communities by donation.

In an ICBC survey, designated drivers across B.C. shared their funniest experiences getting their friends and family home safely. Designated drivers play an important role and ICBC is sharing these stories to encourage everyone to take their turn as the designated driver over the holidays.

From mistaking a police car for a taxi to dropping an intoxicated friend off at the wrong house, here are the best stories shared by B.C. drivers:

  • "I delivered an intoxicated friend to an address he gave me only to find out the next day that he didn't live there. The residents looked after him and I drove him to his actual home the next day."

  • "Many years ago in Prince George I was [doing a ridealong with the] RCMP. We were parked outside a bar. A person came out of the bar, opened the rear passenger door and sat down. Believing they were in a taxi, they gave their address. The officer noticed the address was close so he drove him home. When he tried to pay, the officer gave them his business card and said, "Tonight's ride is on us – thanks for calling a cab." I guess in this case the RCMP was the designated driver and I have no doubt the next day many questions about the trip home must have been going through the passenger's mind when he saw the police card."

  • "I was designated driver for my brother-in-law in Belgium this summer. I got to drive his Mercedes CLS 320. If only I had more friends with high-end or exotic cars. Anyone with a Porsche Turbo need a driver?"

  • "Listening to my friends sing 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' over and over again."

  • "I was driving someone home and he was giving me directions. When we arrived, he got out and was met at the door by a woman who refused to let him in. Turns out, they had been divorced for two months and in his drunken condition, he forgot he no longer lived there."

  • "My wife's 20-year reunion. Some of the occupants thought they were in a taxi and tried to pay me."

  • "I was the designated driver for 12 ladies celebrating a birthday. I rented a van and drove them to several bars. I was surrounded by all these beautiful women and they would only dance with me… I never had a better night in all of my single life."

Regional New Year's Eve statistics*

  • Every year during New Year's Eve, an average of 130 people are injured in 410 crashes in the Lower Mainland.

  • Every year during New Year's Eve, an average of 10 people are injured in 50 crashes in the North Central region.

  • Every year during New Year's Eve, an average of 30 people are injured in 100 crashes in the Southern Interior.

  • Every year during New Year's Eve, an average of 30 people are injured in 90 crashes on Vancouver Island.

Notes:

New Year's Eve is defined as 6 p.m. on December 31 to midnight on January 1 (includes the full January 1 day). Impaired is defined as including alcohol, illicit drugs and medicines.

*Based on five year average. Crashes and injured victims from ICBC data (2009 to 2013); fatal victims from police data (2009 to 2013).

**Based on five year total from 2009 to 2013 (police data).

Media contact:
Lindsay Olsen
604-982-4759