RIDE program at Humber North targets holiday drinks before driving

M.J. Martinez
Senior Reporter

Humber’s Public Safety Department hosted its annual R.I.D.E. Checks program at the North campus Concourse on Nov. 20.

The R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) program is a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of not drinking and driving during the holidays.

Each year, police across Ontario set up roadside spot-checks on major roadways and highway off-ramps. Drivers approaching these checks are stopped by officers and politely questioned. If intoxication were suspected, the driver would need to take a roadside Breathalyzer test at the request of police.

The campaign kick-off at Humber, organized by college president and CEO Chris Whitaker, drew many police officers, students, and TV and radio stations. Whitaker said Humber has hosted the event for many years.

“We’ve had a long partnership with Toronto Police Services, lots of good linkages with the community. It’s a provincial launch, so this event only happens at Humber, we’re very delighted and honored to host it.”

Constable Brent Sedgwick, an officer from the Cobourg Police Service feels the R.I.D.E is a great learning experience.

“Hopefully, we can get people to not drink and drive,” he said. “If we can help a couple of people, that’s great, or a thousand people, even better.”

He said he was proud to be attending his first R.I.D.E. launch at Humber.

Many of students from the Police Foundations program attended. Second-year student Racquel Kondilas said she felt it was important to be there.

“If you’re at a party, call a cab. Anywhere you are surrounded by drinking, don’t drive,” Kondilas said.

She hopes to become a police officer someday and teach students all about R.I.D.E. and the responsibility of driving.

Express Toll Route marketing communications specialist Aurrey Drake, 22, said she felt this was an important message to spread, especially close to the holidays.

“It is such a great awareness about the importance of not drinking and driving, especially with the younger age group,” said Drake.