Once again this year, several Cape towns will be offering free rides home following New Year's Eve revelry. As part of Operation SafeRide, free taxi rides are available to anyone leaving a licensed restaurant, bar or club in the participating towns.
Operation Safe Ride is endorsed by local police departments as a means of getting people home safely after a night of imbibing.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 2 to 3 times more people die in alcohol-related crashes during Christmas and New Year's than during any other time of the year. According to statistics from a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study in 2007, 40% of all fatal crashes during Christmas and New Year's involve a least one drunk driver as opposed to 28% during the rest of the month.
This year, the police chiefs of the towns on the Outer Cape (Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown) and Orleans have banded together to promote the successful program in a video. Operation SafeRide begins on Thursday, December 31 at 10 p.m. and runs through Friday, January 1 at 4 a.m. Residents of Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown need only call their local cab company between 10 p.m. and 2 p.m. on New Year's Eve to make a reservation. Provincetown residents call Pride Taxi at 508-487-3400, Truro residents call Cape Cab at 508-487-2222 and Eastham, Orleans and Wellfleet residents call Cape Cab at 508-240-1500. This is the fourth year Operation SafeRide will be offered on the Outer Cape.
For several years, the Yarmouth Police Department has supported Operation SafeRide in their town. In Yarmouth, the free program begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 31 and runs until 3 a.m. on Friday, January 1. Anyone in Yarmouth needing a free ride home from a licensed establishment should call Town Taxi at 508-775-5555.
"We consider impaired driving a very serious crime," said Yarmouth Police Deputy Chief Steven Xiarhos. "We are extremely proactive in OUI enforcement." Additional officers will be on patrol on New Year's Eve, according to the deputy chief.
Watch the video featuring the Outer Cape police chiefs here.