Campus Life

Operation Red Nose campaign begins

The University of Lethbridge's annual Operation Red Nose campaign begins Friday, Nov. 26, the first of five weekends and 12 total nights the popular designated driving program will operate in the city.

This is the 16th year that the U of L has offered the program and in that time, more than $380,000 has been raised in support of Horns Athletics. More importantly, countless lives have been saved because thousands of drunk drivers have not been behind the wheels of their vehicles.

The Lethbridge Regional Police Service, the U of L Students' Union, Horns Athletics, the Insurance Bureau of Canada and the City of Lethbridge are all in staunch support of the program. Keith McLaughlin, the VP Academic of the Students' Union says the annual campaign is vitally important to students, teaching them positive attitudes towards the use of designated drivers. Essentially, he says, it's key to drive the message home when drivers are young and they're more apt to be smart about drunk driving the rest of their lives.

"We believe the educational awareness component of Operation Red Nose is the most beneficial aspect of the campaign," says McLaughlin. "As a society we can enact tougher and tougher legislation but drunk driving, I don't think, can be eradicated by legislation itself. I think we need to change our societal attitudes about this type of behaviour and we do that through education and awareness."

Red Nose is a designated driving program whereby a team of volunteers (60 to 70 per cent of which are U of L students, mainly Horns athletes) brings a vehicle to your locale. They drive your vehicle home and you and your party get to ride along. There's no charge for the service but donations to Pronghorns Athletics are accepted.

Operation Red Nose begins the weekend of Nov. 26-27 and continues through the Christmas season, including: Dec. 2-4; Dec. 9-11; Dec. 16-18 and Dec. 31. To call for a ride, dial 403-320-4155. Those interested in volunteering can call 403-329-2681 for more information.