TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 21, 2016) – During last year’s holiday season in Hillsborough County, there were several fatal drunk-driving accidents over the holidays, which unfortunately, is not unusual both locally and nationally.
In fact, 40 percent of traffic-related deaths around the country that occur over Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers, according to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
This holiday season, there are a number of options for drivers in Hillsborough County to get home safely if they’ve had too much to drink.
The Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission (PTC) wants drivers to be aware of local programs offered to impaired drivers through Tow to Go, Alert Cab, Lyft, and the SaferRide app created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Tow to Go gives impaired drivers a confidential ride within 10 miles by a AAA tow truck, while Lyft offers $10 off rides every weekend through the New Year. Alert Cab pays cab fares for impaired drivers up to 25 miles one way, and NHTSA’s SaferRide app encourages people to have a designated driver or find alternative transportation.
Here are more details on these programs:
Tow to Go: Since its start in 1998, Tow to Go has safely removed over 24,000 impaired drivers from the roads. The free AAA-sponsored program is a partnership with Budweiser to encourage drivers to make alternative transportation plans during the holidays. Through Tow to Go, members and non-members are offered a confidential ride within 10 miles to a safe location by a AAA tow truck driver. To use the service, drivers can call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 or visit www.AAA.com/TowtoGo.
Lyft: Through a partnership with Budweiser, Lyft is offering $10 off rides every weekend through the New Year. Riders with the app can enter their phone number to claim the $10 ride credit, which will be applied to their Lyft account. (http://lft.to/2h1AOpg)
Alert Cab: Sponsored by Budweiser and Pepin Distributing, Alert Cab offers free cab rides to impaired bar and restaurant patrons. Drivers can ask their bartender to order an Alert Cab, and Pepin Distributing will pay the full cab fare for a ride up to 25 miles one way. In Hillsborough County, Pepin partners with United Cab to offer the service year-round.
SaferRide: Created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the SaferRide app gives impaired drivers three options for getting home: “Get a taxi” allows users to choose from a list of available taxi services in the area; “Call a friend” allows users to call a pre-programmed contact; or “Where am I?” allows users to see a map of their current location.
Additionally, Uber has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to raise awareness about the dangers associated with impaired driving, and to encourage drivers to use #LeaveTheKeys to take a pledge on social media to keep the roads safe and have a designated driver.
About the PTC: The Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission (PTC) is an independent Special District that regulates vehicles for-hire, which includes rideshare services, taxicabs, limousines, vans, basic life support ambulances and wrecker services that support government agencies. The PTC also helps consumers who have complaints with these types of services. For more information about the PTC, visit hillsboroughcountyptc.com.