Campaign to curb impaired driving

Posted at 7:40 AM, Dec 29, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-24 05:44:10-05

As New Year's Eve approaches, activists are embarking on a major campaign to keep people safe on the roads.

Signs across the New York State Thruway are lit with messages telling people to "Drive safely, stay sober." This is part of the "Driver Sober, Get Pulled Over" campaign.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving is teaming up with the New York State Thruway Authority to put out that message. MADD is also supplying 150,000 red ribbons to be handed out to drivers at several toll booths in New York State. Each ribbon has a message, urging drivers not to drive while impaired.

Erie County has seen an average of 16 DWI arrests during December 24th and 26th. Those statistics are gathered between 2009 and 2013, according to Tully Rinckey PLLC. The number is the second highest in New York State.

Statistics are starting to show a decrease in people drinking and driving. However, experts add that they are becoming more and more concerned about drug use amongst drivers - especially cocaine and prescription medication.

MADD representatives echo that worry. Elizabeth Obadd, who works with MADD in western New York, says, "our message is certainly getting out there, but it is still happening far too often. We're seeing more people drive under the influence of drugs, and this is really concerning."

For activists, any person getting behind the wheel while drunk or on drugs is one too many.