With the festivities of New Year’s upon us, the province is asking drivers to stay safe and sober behind the wheel. “While New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate with friends and family, we’re reminding Nova Scotians to be responsible and plan ahead,” said Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Justice Minster Ross Landry. “There are several options to get home safely, including taxis, designated drivers, public transit, or staying the night at a friends.” Campaigns such as Operation Christmas have law enforcement agencies targetting those who drive while impaired through checkpoints throughout the province. Operation Christmas is a joint effort by government and police agencies to improve highway safety in Nova Scotia. The recently launched Campaign 911 is another initiative aimed at taking impaired drivers off our roads by empowering citizens to call 911 to report a suspected impaired driver. The campaign was launched earlier this month by the province and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The province has installed 13 highway signs to remind drivers to call 911 to report the crime. “Any time you make that critical call, you have the ability to save a life,” says Margaret Miller, president MADD Canada. “If someone had called 911 five years ago, quite possibly our son Bruce would still be with us. Instead, our family, and thousands more across Canada, will mourn these needless deaths. It’s up to all of us to make that call.” Impaired driving is one of the leading factors in fatal collisions in Nova Scotia. To date in 2009, there have been 18 fatalities in the province involving impaired drivers. Last month, the province passed some of the toughest legislation in the country to fight impaired driving. New legislation will increase the suspension time for people who register .05 on a roadside alcohol screening test.