Drink driving programme saved

A last-minute effort by the Young United Democratic Party organisation will help keep drink drivers off the road on New Year’s Eve.

The National Drug Council’s annual Purple Ribbon Bus Programme, which provided free bus service to New Year’s Eve revellers, was not going to operate this year due to a lack of funding.

Members of the YUDP, the official youth arm of the United Democratic Party, decided to make sure the programme would hit the road again this year. The organisation’s president, Richard Christian, made the announcement Tuesday.

‘When it was brought to our attention that the NDC would not be able to continue this service this year, it deeply concerned us,’ he said. ‘Although we believe in personal accountability, we also believe in community responsibility. Government can’t do everything; that is why it is so important for citizens to get involved and help, if not financially, at least voluntarily.’

Mr. Christian said the YUDP felt it very important to assist the Purple Ribbon Bus Programme because New Year’s Eve was a highly celebrated event.

‘Alcohol consumption can result in car accidents, some leading to deaths, and persons being caught while driving under the influence,’ he said. ‘We wanted to minimize these risks, giving persons the option to enjoy themselves, at the same time protecting them and protecting our streets.’

Reid’s Premier Tours will provide the Purple Ribbon Buses, which have been sponsored by the YUDP and will be running a regular route from West Bay to Bodden Town on New Year’s Eve between the hours of 10pm and 3am. The buses will run at 30-minute intervals and will pick-up passengers at all major restaurants, bars and night-clubs or at regular bus stops on the route.

The buses will also run to East End and North Side occasionally.

The Purple Ribbon Bus Programme is in its ninth year. It was started by the NDC in 2000 and is the only free transportation system aimed at reducing and eliminating the number of alcohol related incidents during the New Year’s Celebrations.

NDC Executive Director Joan West-Dacres said there will be no excuse for people to drink and drive on New Year’s Eve.

‘The YUDP have come forward and pledged financial support to ensure that the Purple Ribbon Buses are made available,’ she said.

‘The message is clear and simple; don’t drink and drive. Either designate a driver or use the Purple Ribbon Buses.’