Bradford Health offers free taxi rides during holiday season

By BRIANA HARRIS / Staff Writer

Bradford Health Services is offering free taxi rides home during the holiday season in an effort to make roadways safer for everyone.

Staff and patrons at restaurants, bars and lounges may call for a free ride home for anyone who is impaired and should not drive. The service will be offered from Dec. 23 to Jan. 1, 2017 and is for adults 21 and older.

This free community service will be provided within a 30-mile radius of Bradford Health’s downtown Birmingham location, which includes parts of Shelby County like Chelsea, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster and Helena.

Lonnie Layton, Bradford’s community representative for its Shelby County office, said residents can call Bradford at 942-3200 to request a ride and Bradford will send a taxi.

“We’re doing this as a community service just to make sure that people get home safely,” Layton said. “The holidays can be a dangerous time of the year.”

Dangerous indeed. During the holidays, two to three times more people die in alcohol-related crashes than normal, according to data from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, 1,200 people will be killed and 25,000 will be injured in accidents caused by someone driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the CDC, 728 people will be killed or injured in an alcohol-related wreck each day during the holiday season.

“We want to do our part to help avoid as many negative situations as possible,” Layton said.

Bradford Health Services has been treating alcoholism and drug addiction for adults and adolescents for nearly 40 years.