Traffic Safety Commission partners with Uber to end traffic deaths

With many people hitting the roads this holiday season, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) is reminding Washingtonians to plan ahead and use alternative transportation after drinking alcohol or using marijuana during celebrations.

This year, WTSC is partnering with Uber to help end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030 as part of the Target Zero initiative.

Bars and restaurants across the state will be featuring anti-DUI materials and encouraging patrons to take a safe ride home. In areas where Uber is available, the company will also be offering riders $20 off their first trip as part of the effort, with the promo code RIDESAFEWA. Additionally, Uber has recently launched UberEVENTS, which will enable companies to arrange safe rides for their employees throughout the holiday party season and beyond.

Preliminary Fatality Analysis Reporting (FARS) data shows more than 500 traffic deaths so far in 2015, nearly 100 more reported deaths than this time last year.

“We have seen an unfortunate increase in traffic deaths this year,” said Darrin Grondel, WTSC director, “By encouraging people to plan ahead over the holiday party season, and to ensure a sober ride home, we hope our state will experience zero traffic deaths in December and through the New Year.”

Extra DUI enforcement patrols statewide began November 26 and will end January 1.

“We’re committed to providing safe, reliable transportation for Washingtonians year-round, and we’re proud to join forces with WTSC to help prevent traffic crashes this holiday season,” said Brooke Steger, General Manager of Uber Washington. “We want to make it easy for people to leave their keys at home and also give them the peace of mind that they’re not putting others at risk.”

In Spokane, Whitman, Pend Oreille and Stevens Counties, the City of Airway Heights, Colfax, Eastern Washington University, and Pullman Police Departments, the Whitman and Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Offices and the Washington State Patrol will be teaming up and participating in the extra patrols, with the support of the Spokane County Target Zero Task Force.

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