August marks the start of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign that cracks down on drunk drivers throughout the U.S. The campaign starts August 19 and runs through Labor Day. It was designed to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving by increasing the number of law enforcement officers on the road. The campaign also aims to educate the public about the dangers of drunk driving through the use of marketing tools such as PSAs, handouts and posters. Do you need alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC? Call Legacy for more information.
Launched in 1999 by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it was created after they compiled alarming statistics on the number of alcohol-related crashes during the summer and over Labor Day weekend. More than 10,000 people die each year in alcohol-related crashes. Passengers and occupants of other vehicles involved make up 35 percent of the fatalities, according to their data.
Over Labor Day weekend 2013, there were 424 fatal crashes across the U.S. Half of those drivers had been drinking. The accidents involved drivers ages 18-34, with 45 percent of them having a BAC of 0.08 or higher, which is over the legal limit.
Over 10,000 police departments and other law enforcement agencies will be aggressively targeting drunk drivers on the road as part of its High Visibility Enforcement (HVE). This technique was designed to deter people from participating in traffic violations by publicizing that there will be a crackdown on a particular traffic safety issue. The public is made aware through the media, press events, social media and other forms of promotion. Policeman and other law enforcement officers set up checkpoints and other enforcement zones using signage and in some cases, specially marked cars and uniforms. They’re highly visible and very active in enforcing the specific violation they are targeting. It has proven to be effective in deterring drivers from breaking traffic laws.
The organizers want you to get involved, too. They encourage you to share information via social media and use the hashtag #DriveSober. They’ve created sample tweets such as “Every 52 minutes, another person in the U.S. dies in a drunk-driving crash. It has to stop. #DriveSober or Get Pulled Over.” You can also download infographics to share on Facebook, and link to videos about the dangers of drunk driving.
The NHTSA hopes that people will be less likely to get behind the wheel after drinking if they know that there are more officers on the road watching for drunk drivers. They offer these suggestions to minimize alcohol-related accidents involving you or other drivers on the road:
• Plan ahead when you know you’re doing to be drinking and decide if you are going to take a cab, ride with a designated driver or stay overnight where the activity is held.
• If you ever see what appears to be an impaired driver, call the police to report them.
• Always buckle up in order to protect yourself from other drivers.
For more information about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit the website.
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