The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will launch a campaign to crack down on impaired driving and reduce roadway fatalities from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5. The annual, nationwide enforcement effort is supported by $14 million in paid national advertising campaign to help put motorists on notice that if they are caught driving while impaired, they will be arrested. The national ads, produced by NHTSA in English and Spanish, are targeted at young male drivers (ages 21-34) and motorcycle riders, who are the most common perpetrators of impaired driving.
According to NHTSA, 10,839 people in 2009 were killed in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with an illegal BAC of .08 or higher. That would be equal to about 30 jumbo jets crashing each year. To crack down on alcohol-impaired driving, which is especially common in the late summer, police in every state and most towns and cities will be out in record numbers from mid-August through Labor Day. All 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have established a threshold making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.
The administration also reports that the percentage of drivers with BACs of .08 or above involved in fatal crashes in 2009 was highest for motorcycle riders (29 percent), followed by drivers of light trucks (23 percent) and passenger cars (23 percent).
Coalitions can download a free planner to support NHTSA’s impaired driving initiatives surrounding the 2011 Labor Day Impaired Driving Prevention National Enforcement Crackdown and are built on the new message platform, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” with a tagline “Cops are cracking down.” The promotional planner offers marketing materials, earned media tools, and marketing ideas you can distribute to fit your local needs and objectives while at the same time partnering with other states, communities, and organizations all across the country on this promotional program.
"NHTSA certainly can't do this alone, and we need support from folks all across the country who can provide assistance and publicize these efforts," said Heidi Coleman, chief, Impaired Driving Division, of DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during an Impaired Driving National Crackdown stakeholders meeting.
You can download the planner here. You can also check out the recording of CADCA’s recent webinar featuring National Coalition Institute Director Jane Callahan, “Community Approaches to Impaired Driving.”