Several Texas college students will be getting a ‘Weekend P.A.S.S.’ from the Texas Department of Transportation with an interactive campaign to educate about drinking and driving.
Weekend P.A.S.S., or Person Appointed to Stay Sober, is TxDot’s 2012 campaign where students participate in an interactive photo booth, aimed at increasing awareness of the dangers of drunk driving.
Participants can take pictures with backgrounds like “the partier”, “the drunk driver in jail” and “the sober driver (the p.a.s.s)”as well as watch a video encouraging students to make sure they have a sober driver at the end of the night.
Students dressed up like prisoners in front of backgrounds such as a car with “Person Appointed to Stay Sober” with an arrow pointed to the p.a.s.s. saying “I’m da pass”.
Other backgrounds included a party with “Need a P.A.S.S. and jail cell with “Went from a bar to bars. Shoulda gotten a P.A.S.S.”
Photos are posted to the campaign’s Facebook page, Get a P.A.S.S. – Person Appointed to Stay Sober.
Though the interactive campaign seemed like fun and games, the statistics were nothing to play with.
According to the TxDot information and resources page, “Alcohol-related crashes are highest among young adults: 54 percent of impaired drivers killed in crashes were between the ages of 18 and 34.”
Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is illegal in all 50 states, but some continue to drive, thinking that the person with the least alcohol intake is the safest.
“I would say that it is definitely beneficial to students and other participants,” Edward Gisemba, MPH Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative Coordinator at Sam Houston State University said. “Weekend P.A.S.S utilizes youth in the campaign which is a great addition that other drunk driving prevention efforts lack. By simulating the entire night it also has the ability to be comprehensive. I think that this will be a good method to not only get people not to drink and drive, but also prompt friends and other peers not to allow their friends to.”
The Weekend P.A.S.S. campaign is an effort to let students and citizens alike know that the person who hasn’t had any alcohol is the safest to get behind the wheel.
“Too often, people choose the ‘least drunk’ person in their group to drive,” Carol T. Rawson, TxDOT’s Traffic Operations Division Director said.
“But, the best plan is one that includes a sober driver, a person that has had nothing to drink.”
Over a thousand deaths occurred in 2010 as a result of over 25 thousand alcohol-related crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declared that 20 percent of young adults have gotten behind the wheel at least 2 hours after drinking.
TxDot frequently encourages students to stay safe and be smart with their campaigns.
In 2011, they launched the “Talk. Text. Crash.-Distracted Driving Program”, emphasizing the dangers of texting and driving.
Weekend P.A.S.S. will be at several Texas colleges in the coming weeks.
Remember, if a you or a friend has been drinking, do not get behind the wheel.