Drink­ing? Who can drive you

Ser­vice can get you home safe in your own car

Rouse Hill Times - - NEWS - Stacey Roberts

A HILLS-based des­ig­nated driver ser­vice has grown “ex­po­nen­tially” since it be­gan six years ago, ac­cord­ing to its Kel­lyville own­ers.

Af­ter her son Ja­son was killed in a car ac­ci­dent in Cas­tle Hill in Jan­uary 1996, Julieanne Bridges and her hus­band Kym be­gan work­ing in road safety.

It was while the Kel­lyville cou­ple were work­ing as lec­tur­ers in the NSW Traf­fic Of­fend­ers Pro­gram that they saw a need for a des­ig­nated driver ser­vice.

They started a com­pany called You Drink, We Drive, be­fore sell­ing their shares in 2010 and open­ing Who’s Driv­ing in 2011.

The ser­vice al­lows peo­ple to be taken home in their own car when they can­not drive them­selves, such as af­ter med­i­cal ap­point­ments or af­ter drink­ing al­co­hol.

“Our de­mo­graphic is 35plus and their fam­i­lies, be­cause you can take your kids out in their baby seats in your own car,” Mrs Bridges said.

Mrs Bridges said the ser­vice was not lim­ited to driv­ers who wanted to drink but for “when­ever you can’t drive”.

“When you ask the ques­tion who’s driv­ing, we will,” she said.

Mrs Bridges said the ser­vice meant cus­tomers did not need to rely on taxis or pub­lic trans­port, which could be chal­leng­ing for peo­ple liv­ing in the Hills. “There’s noth­ing worse than go­ing to the city and get­ting a taxi home and in the morn­ing hav­ing to go back and get (your car),” she said.

The busi­ness be­gan ser­vic­ing the Hills Dis­trict and has since spread across Syd- ney. “We’ve got cus­tomers now out as far as Lud­den­ham and Bringelly,” Mrs Bridges said.

Mrs Bridges said the busi­ness had grown ev­ery month since it started, with Septem­ber to De­cem­ber of­ten their busiest pe­riod.

“We did 375 pick ups in De­cem­ber and 100 of those were new pick ups,” she said.

Mrs Bridges said the ser­vice was “not pro­mot­ing go­ing out and get­ting drunk” but en­cour­aged re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour when it came to drink­ing and driv­ing.

“It’s good for the com­mu­nity,” she said.

Hills lo­cal area com­mand Su­per­in­ten­dent Rob Critchlow said drink­ing and driv­ing re­mained a ma­jor killer on the road and a cause of se­ri­ous crashes.

“When you plan to drink you need a plan B to get home,” he said.

“While we do not en­dorse any par­tic­u­lar busi­ness, we sup­port any pos­i­tive strate­gies to al­low peo­ple to have a pos­i­tive so­cial life while … not driv­ing af­ter they have been drink­ing.”

Who’s Driv­ing man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Julieanne Bridges and In­spec­tor Jim Sz­abo. Pic­ture: Peter Kelly

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.