Operation Christmas Launched

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal

November 29, 2007 2:11 PM

Law enforcement agencies across Nova Scotia are targeting impaired drivers in Operation Christmas, the annual campaign to reduce impaired driving during the holiday season.

Checkpoints were set up today, Nov. 29, to launch the provincewide program. Vehicles will be stopped for enforcement and to remind drivers to plan ahead to get home safely.

"Operation Christmas serves an important role in our province," said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. "Because of sobriety checkpoints, impaired drivers are being stopped and taken off the road."

Operation Christmas is a joint effort by government, police agencies, and the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) to improve highway safety in Nova Scotia. This year, the CAA will also be a sponsor.

"Operation Christmas helps ensure public safety through the holiday season and I commend law enforcement officers and all Operation Christmas partners for their support of this tremendously important initiative," said Justice Minister Cecil Clarke.

"Throughout the Christmas season, and all year, we will be vigilant in our fight to stop impaired driving," said Springhill Police Chief Gary Copeland.

"Impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal death in Canada," said RCMP Insp. Matt Lowther. "Police agencies in Nova Scotia are working together in Operation Christmas as one of the ways to stop impaired drivers and to make our roads safer. During the holidays and throughout the new year, don't drive impaired."

As part of Operation Christmas, the NSLC and CAA are offering drivers who pass through spot checks without incident a pin card to enter to win a Caribbean cruise for two valued at $5,000. To register for the contest, visit the NSLC website www.lotsofways.com/CAA and enter the pin code.

This site is part of the NSLC 's holiday social responsibility campaign called Lots of Ways. Heralded as one of the best ad campaigns in Canada last year, the campaign theme is "There are lots of ways to get home safely. All you need is one." The NSLC will formally launch this campaign event on Dec. 6.

"The NSLC is thrilled to join forces with CAA to offer a trip for two to the Caribbean as incentive to keep our roads safe this holiday season," said Bret Mitchell, NSLC president and CEO. "For those who plan to drink during the holidays, there are lots of ways to get home safely, all you need is one."

"Driver focus has long been a focus of CAA," said Gary Howard of CAA. "Through education and public awareness programs such as Operation Christmas, we encourage drivers to act responsibly. Appoint a designated driver and don't take chances when it comes to drinking and driving."

Impaired driving is one of the leading contributing factors in fatal and serious collisions in Nova Scotia. Over the first 11 months of this year there have been 21 collisions in Nova Scotia involving drivers who were impaired resulting in 24 fatalities.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Checkpoints were set up across the province today (November

29th) to launch Operation Christmas.

     The road safety program stops vehicles for enforcement and

to remind drivers to plan ahead to get home safely.

     Operation Christmas is a partnership of the provincial

government, police agencies, the NSLC and CAA.

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Media Contacts: Carla Grant
                Department of Justice
                902-424-6282
                E-mail: grantc@gov.ns.ca

                Sgt. Ken Jackson
                Springhill Police
                902-490-5154
                E-mail: kjackson@townofspringhill.ns.ca

                Rick Perkins
                Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation
                902-450-5926
                E-mail: rick.perkins@thenslc.com

                Mark Gallagher
                RCMP
                902-426-5120
                E-mail: mark.gallagher@rcmp-grc.gc.ca