A young entrepreneurial couple from Outlook is hoping to reduce the number of impaired drivers out on rural Saskatchewan roads and highways by way of offering people a safe ride home.
Brandon Cordick and Breanna Hyatt are the people behind B&B’s Designated Driver Service, a program that they launched just a couple of weeks ago aimed at giving people who’ve had one too many a safer alternative to getting behind the wheel while impaired.
Brandon, 23, works as the logistics coordinator out at Elcan Forage near Outlook, while Breanna, 21, is looking to enter the cosmetology field following her schooling. The two say that the goal is to let people know that they have a better option when it comes to deciding how they’ll get themselves, or even their own vehicle home after a night out with some drinks.
The two also see a need for this kind of service in the community.
“I thought that since I like helping people out, and so does he, what’s a better way to show that than by getting people home safe?” said Breanna.
“We want to help out in the community and try to eliminate drunk driving,” said Brandon, noting that it could make for a possible side income. “There’s a need for this kind of thing everywhere, but especially with the number of events that go on right here in town.”
With the service being very new right now, the couple are still working out the kinks as far as what they can offer, but for now, it can almost be looked at as two people simply offering up their time to make sure people have a ride home.
“I can take you and your vehicle home,” explained Brandon, going over what the service offers right now. “Breanna or I would drive you in your vehicle, and the other would follow in our own vehicle. If we take you in our vehicle, we can’t charge due to liability issues, but we can accept tips. We can’t officially charge for that part of it because we’d have to have a taxi license, and that’s not possible at the moment. But we can still offer rides with just the tip incentive.”
The idea to offer a designated driving service in Outlook sprang after the couple had replied to a request for a ride home on the popular buy and sell page on Facebook.
“We did it once after someone had posted on the Outlook Buy and Sell page,” said Brandon. “They were happy about it, and then we thought we’d try it again.”
“They actually came up with the idea,” added Breanna. “They gave us the idea and said, ‘You should start this up’.”
After Brandon and Breanna were lined up as designated drivers for people attending the recent New Year’s Eve dance at the Outlook Civic Centre, they decided to go ahead and move forward in offering up their time and their sober driving skills as a go-to service.
“We posted that we were thinking of doing this again, and then someone organizing the pool fundraiser event said that they’d have the people who were going there to give us a call, and we just thought about making it a full-time thing,” said Brandon.
During the work week, the couple are on call for anyone needing a ride home between the hours of 6:00 pm to 1:00 am. On the weekends, that extends to 4:00 in the morning.
If they wanted to go full-tilt and present it as a taxi service, that means having the paperwork and permits to back it up.
“In order to go as a full service, we’d have to get our commercial licenses, Class 4, and get a taxi license on our vehicles, as well as third party insurance for an extra million-dollar liability,” explained Brandon. “Other than that, we don’t need to have any other insurance if we’re going to take you home without charging you in our vehicle because it’s just like picking up a buddy from the bar.”
So far, Breanna and Brandon have been getting good feedback on offering the service, as people recognize that there’s a possible need for something like this in the area.
“Lots of positivity to the service so far,” said Breanna. “We’ve had lots of feedback on how we can fix things here and there, and someone said we should look into getting a loan in order to turn it into a taxi service.”
As far as expanding into a full-blown taxi service, Brandon would like to explore that option in the near future and possibly offer rides to other communities outside of Outlook.
“I know Rosetown has one,” he said. “We’d like to see if it was a possibility here. We’re thinking of offering rides in town, as well as to the surrounding communities like Conquest, Milden, Broderick, Delisle, Glenside, and maybe even some Saskatoon trips as well. I already had somebody message me this morning on Facebook asking if I would take them to the airport, and I said I couldn’t do it because I don’t have the taxi insurance and I’d be totally liable for them.”
Brandon and Breanna just want people to know they have the safer, better option after a fun night out at the bar.
“We want to help out as much as possible to eliminate drunk driving altogether,” he said.
“We want to be able to help out our community,” she said.
For more on B&B’s Designated Driver Service, you can check out their page on Facebook.