TTI’s Center for Transportation Safety (CTS) is playing a vital role in Texas’ first effort to urge the public to report drivers suspected of being alcohol-impaired. The campaign, called Report Impaired Drivers, was kicked off with a news conference June 22 in Deer Park, Texas, located near Houston.
“Harris County leads the nation in alcohol-related driving fatalities — 46 percent compared to 32 percent nationally,” says Associate Research Specialist Lee Ann Bell. “That’s part of the reason why Deer Park was chosen.”
The three-year campaign is funded by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and includes a direct-mail piece to Deer Park residents, brochures, posters, a Public Service Announcement and a website. CTS will evaluate the program by comparing the public’s reporting of impaired driving pre- and post- campaign.
The news conference was attended by members of the Deer Park Police Department, the mayor of Deer Park, representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, TxDOT and TTI. The conference detailed the procedures for reporting suspected impaired driving and why it is important for the public to get involved.
A similar program in Montgomery County, Maryland, has experienced an increase in alcohol-related arrests and the police department attributes the increase as a direct result of the, “Operation Extra Eyes” program. That campaign and “Report Impaired Drivers” share the goal of making roads safer in the community through citizen reporting and a shared effort with the law enforcement.
“Remember…law enforcement officers aren’t the only ones who can get an impaired driver off the road,” says TxDOT Alcohol Program Manager Frank Saenz. “You or I can, too, and the Report Impaired Drivers program is designed to help do exactly that.”
To learn more about the Report Impaired Drivers campaign visit the campaign website.