TIGNISH – For the second year in a row, Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry will do his part to make the roads safer over the holiday season.
Perry is offering free transportation to residents in the Tignish area over the Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve.
“I’ve already been out two nights,” Perry said Monday. “There are so many facets as to why I’m doing this but one of them is (to) raise awareness and educate people on the dangers of drinking and driving. There are choices to make and to drink responsibility. If you’re going out, plan ahead.”
Perry said he is offering a service to the people in the area so they will not have to drink and drive.
“As an MLA, my profile is a little raised and I can take advantage of that and give back to my community,” he said. “The satisfaction I get from knowing I took someone off of the street that may have potentially been drinking and driving, it’s a great feeling.”
Last year, Perry drove 50 people home on New Year’s Eve.
“I wanted to do it again this year to ensure the novelty wasn’t just that one year,” he said. “If it goes well again this year, and it looks like it’s going to be even a greater success than last year, I want to expand this to as many rural Island communities as possible.”
He said that involves getting individuals within those communities involved. Discount Car Rental was kind enough to lend me a seven-passenger vehicle for the New Year’s Eve weekend and that’s a fantastic help,” Perry said. “I have had people come up to me that have lost members of their families as a result of drinking and driving and wanted to make donations – even donations to cover my gas.”
But Perry is paying for the gas himself.
“It’s my way of giving back to the community,” he said. “I will take donations and make a donation to MADD Canada’s Red Ribbon Campaign.”
Perry said society needs to change how it views drinking and driving.
“We have to make sure society doesn’t tolerate anyone that’s behind the wheel, who’s been drinking, driving,” he said. “I have teenaged boys and I want them to grow up and be responsible and to make responsible decisions. And not only not to get behind the wheel drunk but don’t get into a vehicle with somebody that might be driving drunk. It’s all about choices.”