The Governors Highway Safety Association, in partnership with Uber, has awarded state departments of transportation in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Mexico and Texas a total of $95,000 in grant funds and Uber ride credits to help prevent impaired driving this holiday season.
[Above photo by Uber]
Now in its fourth year, the program encourages people who consume alcohol or other impairing substances to use ride-hailing services instead of putting themselves and others on the road at risk by getting behind the wheel.
GHSA said in a statement that ride-hailing services can help reduce crash and impaired driving rates by offering an alternative to getting behind the wheel impaired.
An independent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this June found that after Uber entered the Houston market in 2014, weekend motor vehicle crash traumas decreased by 38.9 percent for people under 30, an age group more likely to drive impaired.
That analysis also found that DUI arrests decreased across the board after Uber’s arrival, with the greatest reduction on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
State highway safety offices within those five state DOTs plan to use the grant funds and Uber ride credits in the following ways:
- The Colorado Department of Transportation will urge people hosting holiday gatherings to be the “Ultimate Party Host” by providing Uber credits and easy ways to share them with their guests, so they get home safely. The state will promote the campaign at local liquor stores in Denver and El Paso counties, which are among the highest in the state for DUI citations.
- The Connecticut Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office plans to complement a significant enforcement and English and Spanish public outreach campaign with the “Save the Night CT” program, which will offer residents discounted Uber rides as a reward for choosing not to get behind the wheel impaired. The state will promote this message on social media to 18-34-year-olds, as well as at various locations across the state including bars and restaurants, concert venues, arenas, and stadiums.
- Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration – a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation – will use a comprehensive statewide campaign as a call to action for drivers to plan ahead to ensure they have a sober ride home. The “Be the Make a Plan Driver” initiative will provide $10 Uber ride discounts to all Marylanders starting November 24 through January 1, 2022.
- The New Mexico Department of Transportation will offer Uber ride credits through its anti-impaired driving campaign to encourage holiday party attendees to opt for a responsible ride home. From mid-November through New Year’s Day, the state will conduct a “Winter Superblitz” campaign combining high visibility enforcement with radio, television, social media and outdoor messaging in both English and Spanish.
- The Texas Department of Transportation will supplement high visibility enforcement by collaborating with alcohol retailers to promote Uber rides in the Harris County/Houston area, which has the highest concentration of impaired driving fatalities in the state. As part of its multi-pronged statewide campaign – “Ride Sober. No Regrets.” – TxDOT will also activate its partner network on social media to amplify the availability of Uber holiday ride credits, with a goal of reaching more than 500,000 people.