EDITORIAL: Make healthy travel choices

Even one preventable alcohol-related car crash too many this holiday season

The holiday lights are up, casting a warm glow over the streets and sidewalks of the West Shore and inspiring us all to enjoy the best of this Christmas season.

But there are another series of lights we see this time of year that don’t carry such a happy message.

The flashing lights of police cruisers and emergency vehicles serve as an unfortunate reminder that all too many holiday celebrations end in tragedy.

Police on the West Shore and across the province are in the midst of their annual Christmas CounterAttack campaigns, targeting impaired drivers in an effort to keep the roads safe.

The consequences of a single bad choice can haunt you for the rest of your life.

And those bad choices add up to thousands of injuries and dozens of deaths each year as a result of alcohol-related crashes in B.C. The good news is the numbers are decreasing, with the number of fatalities down significantly from just a few years ago.

But there is no acceptable level of carnage on B.C. roads. Each and every one of those crashes represents a tragedy for someone’s family, and the saddest part is that they could all have been easily avoided.

There’s just no reason to take chances with your own or your neighbour’s safety. And don’t kid yourself, if you’ve had too much to drink, no amount of coffee, food or fresh air will make you sober.

So when you’re celebrating the season this year, make sure those celebrations include planning for a safe ride home. Arrange for a designated driver, call a taxi, plan to stay over with friends – anything it takes to prevent adding to the crashes on B.C. roads, not to mention the potential loss of your driver’s licence.

Think of the victims, think of the potential consequences, think of what you would have to tell your family – just please think, and let us all enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.

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