Tipsi Taxi program makes holidays safer

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Thanksgiving is near and Christmas and New Year’s Eve are on the horizon. That means the holiday party season is in sight.

Unfortunately, when people drink and drive when they leave a seasonal celebration they are putting themselves in a position to hurt or kill themselves and others.

It’s easy to avoid drinking and driving, particularly in the Walla Walla Valley.

To make sure partygoers and others who have celebrated a little too much make it home safely, the Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Task Force is offering the Tipsy Taxi service for the seventh consecutive year. The free rides home begin Dec. 13 and will run through New Year’s Eve.

The Task Force is looking for volunteer drivers to work an evening shift. Drivers are typically “on duty” from 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on the evening they are scheduled.

During the past six years, the Tipsi Taxi program has provided a safe ride home to 1,400 people. The Tipsi Taxi program has actually been operating in the Valley for many years, but it was halted at one point. It was relaunched in 2007.

Each year about 30 volunteer drivers are needed. In addition, several local businesses contribute products and services needed for the program. This year the Tipsy Taxi service is sponsored by Abajian Motors, Professional Telephone Answering Service, Odom Distributing, McDonald Zaring, the Union-Bulletin, Graphic Apparel, Inland Saxum Printing, Inland Cellular and the Traffic Safety Task Force.

If you would be interested in serving as a volunteer driver, contact Nancy Walters at 509-524-2936.

It’s impossible to know how many lives may have been saved, but even avoiding one death or injury makes the effort worthwhile.

This is a tremendous example of how volunteering can make a difference.

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