Nebraska using trucks to deliver safety message

The Nebraska Office of Highway Safety has begun a new drunk-driving awareness and education campaign statewide using a dozen large delivery service vehicles wrapped with images.

“To get the message directly to those on the road, we are putting the message on the road, too,” Nebraska Highway Safety Administrator Fred Zwonechek told the North Platte Telegraph. “These trucks will accumulate an estimated 18 million-plus impressions over the routes of the 12 trucks over two months, covering the state from east to west and north to south.”

Last year 1,822 alcohol-related crashes occurred on Nebraska roadways, resulting in 1,185 injuries and 51 deaths, according to a Nebraska AAA press release. Nebraska law enforcement officers arrested more than 12,000 motorists in 2011 on drunk driving charges.

“The state has taken the 4-E approach to reduce our crash and fatality rate: being education, enforcement, engineering and EMS,” Lt. Kirk Hansel of Nebraska State Patrol Troop D in North Platte told the Telegraph. “I believe the multi-faceted approach is most effective rather than relying on any one category.”

“We would much rather prevent fatal crashes through our detection and apprehension of impaired drivers rather than investigate the crashes caused by one which often results in injuries or even death,” Hansel added.

Motorists are advised stay as far away from vehicles suspected as being driven by drunk drivers as possible. Do not signal the driver to pull over, as doing so could put you and other motorists in harm’s way. Ask a passenger in your vehicle to write down the license plate number of the vehicle, and call 911 or *55 and provide the law enforcement agency with the location and description of the vehicle, the direction it is headed, and a description of how the vehicle is being driven.

“You Drink & Drive, You Lose,” a statewide drunk-driving enforcement mobilization, will take place Aug. 17 through Sept. 3.

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