SACRAMENTO, Calif.--The Sacramento State University and the UC Davis campuses are proactively educating and engaging their students to promote the concept and importance of sober driving. This is especially relevant as spring break approaches for both campuses, starting March 20 until April 1. Many students on these campuses have family that live locally, or they simply choose to stay local during the break. In recent years students have also enjoyed nearby attractions during spring break, so promoting road safety and non-drinking sober drivers is vital.
“It’s a great way to get students in the positive habit of thinking about their sober driver to get home safely” One proactive measure utilized by both campuses is partnering with RADD—The Entertainment Industry’s Voice for Road Safety. RADD’s efforts were lauded in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report showing DUI deaths in California declining from 924 in 2009 to 774 in 2010 and 774 in 2011.
As a regional team, the campuses launched promotion of the RADD Designated Driver Rewards Program over the past few years. Each year, popular establishments near the campuses are recruited to become RADD Partner Establishments, agreeing to provide some kind of incentive for non-drinking designated drivers. They practice responsible beverage service and provide incentives such as free soda, ice tea, or food samples to non-drinking designated drivers. This partnership with the local establishments makes up the RADD Designated Driver Rewards Program and is then promoted to students on campus, encouraging them to utilize non-drinking designated drivers when they go out.
Currently there are over 40 RADD Partner Establishments registered in the Davis and Sacramento areas. A list of these establishments is distributed on-campus to the students, and is also available on the website www.collegeisradd.org. Students enjoy the simplicity of visiting the venues, identifying who in their group is the non-drinking driver, and receiving their free incentive. “It’s a great way to get students in the positive habit of thinking about their sober driver to get home safely,” says Amelia Stults, Health Outreach Coordinator at Sacramento State.
Other proactive efforts include supporting fun, large-scale campus events that highlight the importance of non-drinking designated drivers in a relaxed and engaging way. One such event will be on March 21st 10am-2pm in the Serna Plaza in front of the bookstore at the Sacramento State University campus, 6000 J Street. The event is called “Safer Spring Break” and activities will include games and prize-giveaways. The brightly wrapped RADD Designated Driver Car, a 2012 Scion xB, donated by Toyota Motor Sales USA, will be showcased at this event. There will also be evening activities in the Residence Halls from 7pm-10pm.
The California College DUI Awareness Project is a partnership between RADD and the University of California, Irvine’s Health Education Center, and is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The project brings the RADD Designated Driver Rewards Program to 17 college and university campuses across the state, encouraging the use of designated drivers, cabs and public transportation to avoid driving under the influence.
Campuses that have signed onto the California DUI Awareness Project are: San Diego State University, UC San Diego, University of San Diego, CSU San Marco, CSU Fullerton, UC Irvine, Concordia University, Orange Coast College, CSU Sacramento, UC Davis, University of the Pacific, University of Southern California/USC-KECK Campus, UCLA, CSU Northridge, CSU San Bernardino, University of Redlands and UC Riverside.