Another Vernon driving service closes its doors | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Another Vernon driving service closes its doors

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July 17, 2020 - 5:00 PM

After 10 years on the road, popular Vernon company Driving Hands has closed its doors as it's unable to operate due to the pandemic.

Driving Hands owners Pam Wood and Vic Spooner said they'd made the decision to close the company for the foreseeable future.

The company stopped operating March 17 and Wood said they owed it to their drivers to give them a definitive answer about reopening as the situation with COVID-19 did not look like it would change any time soon.

"Vernon has been great to us," Wood said. "I'm hoping we'll be back."

Wood said as the business is run from home with little overhead, they would be in a position to start-up again if the situation surrounding the pandemic changed next year or another time in the future.

Wood and Spooner launched Driving Hands 10 years ago as an alternative to a taxi service. Clients sit in their own vehicles while a Driving Hands employee drives their car. The service caters primarily to people who are out but have had too much to drink to drive home.

Woods said they used to employ around 12 to 15 drivers and many of their drivers have been with the company for years.

Anyone who's ever called the company on a Friday or Saturday evening will know how busy they can be.

Unlike taxis, which have in many cases installed plexiglass around the driver seat, Driving Hands drivers don't use their own cars so the plexiglass option is unavailable.

Wood said the safety of their drivers was paramount and they had a responsibility to their drivers to keep them safe. Wood didn't think the reduced number of people out and about during the pandemic would have affected business too much.

After being up until 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. seven days a week, Wood's said she'll be catching up on sleep with her newfound time off.

Rival company Bitterman's Driving Service stopped operating during the pandemic and a Vernon Morning Star report said the company had also decided to close.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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