One town in New Jersey is making efforts to decrease alcohol related accidents and fatalities by providing its residents free Uber rides so that other individuals driving on the roadways can be saved.
It is the first US municipality that made a deal with ride service app Uber to keep impaired individuals from getting behind the wheel, so any person who consumes alcohol in at least 19 alcohol-serving establishments can now get a free ride home.
To take individuals to their homes who consume alcohol at bars, Evesham Township is paying Ubers and rides from another service known as BeMyDD. The service is provided between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. and the service is provided to the residents with the help of donor-supplied funds.
Nonprofits and businesses are giving donations to fund a second free ride service that began on Friday, the mobile app BeMyDD, by which individuals can hire a driver to get both them and their motor vehicle home.
According to a report by Reuters, drunk driving is a serious issue in Evesham Township which is a home to almost 45,000 individuals and 250 individuals were taken into custody this year for driving under the influence of alcohol.
“We’re dealing with people who might’ve had too much to drink. We needed to make it so easy for them to open their iPhone and push a button,” said Evesham Mayor, Randy Brown.
During the month of September, the effort extended a pilot program and tested it for which town shuttles provided free rides to more than 350 individuals. The shuttles assisted in reducing the number of DUI arrests to 8 in September from a monthly average of 23 from January to August, which shows a decrease of 65%.
The program will end on 2nd of January 2016.
In a statement, the general manager for Uber New Jersey, Ana Mahony, said, “We began working with Mayor Brown through our national partner, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and realized it was the perfect opportunity to use our technology to help take drunk drivers off the road”.
According to a spokesman for the company, Uber is testing the pilot locally and is planning to work with other towns to create a similar partnership.
Vice president of marketing for BeMyDD, Alexa Milkovich, told that the company hired drivers immediately to make sure there will be enough drivers to meet the demand.
News Source: www.EWN.co.za