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'Red Nose' offers drives home for merrymakers

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'Red Nose' offers drives home for merrymakers
Photo: Nez Rouge
11:21 CET+01:00
'Tis the season to be jolly but to avoid driving after having one tipple too many.

For the 26th year in a row, a national service in Switzerland, run by volunteers, offers transport for celebrants to get back home from parties and yuletide celebrations without drink driving.

The Nez Rouge (literally, “Red Nose”) operation launches this weekend in most parts of the country, a free service that runs until January 1st.

Covering 23 regions with help from 8,000 volunteers, the charity offers a toll-free number (0800 802 208) that you can call for a drive home if you are suffering the effects of too much drink, drugs or medication, or are simply too tired to get behind the wheel.

Call centre volunteers dispatch drivers with a car to pick up those who use the hotline.

The service, begun in 1990, aims to prevent accidents while raising public awareness about road safety with the goal of reducing the number of motor vehicle crashes caused by “reduced driving ability”, according to its website.

But the Nez Rouge also promotes the idea of groups planning a festive evening to have a designated driver who abstains from drinking.

It also encourages alternative forms of transport, whether it be taxi, public transport or a drive from a (sober) friend.

Since 1993, the Nez Rouge organization said it has transported 325,000 people safely home.

While the drive-home service launches this weekend in most parts of the country, it will start on December 11th in the regions of Fribourg, Geneva, Gruyère, Broye-Lac and Bern.

The charity is supported by several sponsors, including the Road Safety Fund (FVS).

For more information (in French, German and Italian) check the Nez Rouge website here.   

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