FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA Media Relations|
AAA MID-ATLANTIC, MD MOTOR VEHICLE ADMINISTRATION, AND YELLOW CAB OFFER TIPSY?TAXI! THIS HALLOWEEN
Anti-Drunk Driving Program Has Provided 2,800 Free Cab Rides Since 2006 On Select Holidays, Including Halloween
TOWSON, MD (October 26, 2011) -- Tipsy?Taxi! will be available again for Halloween thanks to the partnership of AAA Mid-Atlantic, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and Yellow Cab.
On October 29-31, from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am each day, would-be impaired drivers in Baltimore City can call 877-963-TAXI (8294), and Yellow Cab will provide a safe and free ride home. The program will provide a free taxi ride to those at least 21 years old, who have been drinking at a restaurant or bar in Baltimore City. Balances exceeding $50.00 must be paid for by the occupant. Tipsy?Taxi! began in 2006 and is designed to combat drunk driving, especially on holidays that are associated with excessive alcohol-consumption. Since its inception, the program has provided 2,800 rides to impaired drivers. Last year the Tipsy?Taxi! program supplied over 300 free rides on Halloween night.
"It's a frightening reality that Halloween night is often one of the deadliest nights of the year due to impaired driving crashes – but it doesn't need to be. The single most important ingredient for a safe Halloween is individuals taking personal responsibility," stated Maryland Motor Vehicle Administrator John T. Kuo. "Maryland has tough DUI laws, including a new stronger Vehicle Ignition Interlock law. This legislation combined with enforcement, educational efforts, and programs such as Tipsy?Taxi! will help keep Maryland roadways safer this Halloween. We thank AAA and Yellow Cab for partnering with us to provide a free, safe transportation alternative to getting behind the wheel after drinking."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to the high number of drunk drivers on the roads. In 2009, 48 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher, which is illegal in every state.
"AAA Mid-Atlantic is pleased to once again offer the Tipsy?Taxi! program on Halloween thanks to our partnership with the MVA and Yellow Cab. Although it is a holiday that was traditionally considered a day for children with costumes and trick-or-treating, Halloween has become synonymous with excessive partying and drinking by adults," commented Ragina C. Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic.
"The scariest part of Halloween isn't the spooky costumes and scary pranks, it's the fact that too often party-goers don't plan ahead and end-up making the roads scarier than a horror show," added Averella. "There isn't a Halloween costume clever enough to hide an impaired driver who has made the poor decision to get behind the wheel. Whether you've had one too many or way too many it is just not worth the risk."
In Fell's Point, where many of the streets will be closed to traffic on Halloween night due to the anticipated celebratory crowds, bar patrons who call the Tipsy?Taxi! number need to meet their cabs at Thames and Caroline Streets on Monday, October 31 only. There will be a Tipsy?Taxi! sign and a Yellow Cab representative at the designated waiting spot. Dwight Kines, General Manager at Yellow Cab stated, "Yellow Cab recognizes the importance of continuing its participation in the Tipsy?Taxi! campaign. It's our way of helping to keep our community safe, while providing a choice to those who have been drinking and keeping them off our roads. Hopefully, the only scary people out on the streets will be those in costumes and not drunk drivers," he added.
AAA Mid-Atlantic and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration recommend these simple tips for a safe Halloween:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
- If you're impaired, use a taxi. In Baltimore, Tipsy?Taxi! will be in effect from 11:00 pm – 4:00 am each day on Saturday, October 29 through Monday, October 31.
- Call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.
- And remember, Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.