The RCMP's Counterattack program has begun provincewide.

The RCMP's Counterattack program has begun provincewide.

RCMP’s annual Counterattack program underway

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP will be conducting road checks on highways and side streets throughout December

North Okanagan residents should expect to see a lot more festive blue and red lights.

The Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment is stepping up its traffic enforcement in December.

“Our police officers will be conducting road checks and patrols throughout the month of December and into the new year,” said Supt. Jim McNamara.

“We wish everyone a happy holiday season, and remind all our citizens that getting home safely should be a part of everyone’s holiday planning.”

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP began check stops on main roads and side roads throughout the region on the weekend.

They will be looking for all violations of the Motor Vehicle Act as well as drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.

“You never know where we may be,” said Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy.

“So if you want to keep the season festive and bright, make sure you keep everyone safe, and obey the rules of the road.”

On Dec. 1, the B.C. government, ICBC, and police launched the annual CounterAttack campaign, which sets up road checks throughout the month.

While much progress has been made over the years, impaired driving is still one of the top three contributing factors for fatal crashes in B.C.

Throughout B.C., on average, 66 lives are lost each year due to people driving under the influence. In the southern interior, 23 people are killed in crashes involving impaired driving each year.

Crashes due to drinking and driving are preventable. If holiday festivities involve alcohol, make a plan before heading out. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options to get home safely.