With the approaching holiday season many people will be attending parties across the region.
HomeJames Caledon drivers will once again be behind the wheel to make sure the roads are safe for all motorists around the area.
The program has been operating in Caledon for the past nine years.
HomeJames Caledon is an organization of volunteers dedicated to saving lives by providing a free designated driver service for people in their own vehicles.
With 180 volunteers, they provide rides to people in their own vehicles who have been imbibing and could be a hazard on the road.
“The whole idea is to offer a free and safe ride home in your own car,” explained HomeJames Caledon director, Chris Bava. “It’s all volunteers. This is all done with the help of sponsors. This season from November 22, to New Years eve and we now do it sporadically at other times of the year. Typically on Fridays and Saturdays during the holiday season we takes from people who are at a bar, restaurant or house party. We show up and drive them in their own car to their destination.”
The program works in partnership with local car dealerships who donate the use of their shuttle cars for the weekend.
Ten local dealerships are taking part in the program this year.
Typically two or three volunteers will arrive at the call location. One volunteer will drive the person’s car to get them home safely while another volunteer follows in the shuttle car.
“We always work in teams,” Mr. Bava explained. “We have a minimum of two volunteers but we try to do teams of three. Those roles would be driver – the person that takes over the impaired person’s car – escort is a person in the courtesy shuttle, and navigator is the person who jumps in the impaired person’s car with the drive and their role is just to find the address. Typically during the season we use ten cars but on New Years we will be using up to 20 cars for the night.” You can call HomeJames for a ride, contact them via their app, or by email. You can also pre-book a ride.
You can visit the HomeJames website to learn more information about how to register by visiting www.homejames-caledon.ca. Of course, it is up to you to drink responsibly when you’re out on the town, however, if things don’t go as planned, HomeJames would rather you call them than risk your life and the lives of others on the road.
Written by Brian Lockhart