MADD And Uber Team Up To Combat Drunk Driving On Long Island

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Uber makes $100,000 commitment towards new Safer Streets for Long Island Advisory Committee

Getting a safe ride home is easier than ever with apps like Uber and Lyft. Uber has committed $100,000 to help combat drunk driving on Long Island.

Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Uber announced a joint effort to combat drunk driving on Long Island. Suffolk and Nassau counties both have some of the most alcohol-related crashes across the state’s 62 counties, according to 2013 data. The two organizations are teaming up to launch the Safer Streets for Long Island Advisory Committee, which will explore ways to combat drunk driving in Long Island. Uber is committing $100,000 to support the initiative.

“My mission is to get drunk drivers off our roads and make our communities safer,” said Richard Mallow, executive director of MADD NY. “Ridesharing technology can help do exactly that. I will work to ensure that Long Island residents have a reliable transportation option so they no longer have to unsafely get behind the wheel of their cars putting themselves and their neighbors in danger. The status quo has not served the public well—transportation is still lacking across Long Island and I am thrilled to see ridesharing make its mark on our community.”

“When empowered with more transportation options like Uber, people are making responsible choices that result in fewer alcohol-related crashes,” said Josh Mohrer, general manager of Uber Tri-State. “We are eager to work with MADD, local residents, community leaders and small businesses to help make Long Island streets safer. Our state leaders have taken action to bring ridesharing to New Yorkers who have been demanding better transportation options—including the 77 percent of suburban residents who support ridesharing across the state.”

MADD will work with community leaders, local residents and businesses to select the members of the Safer Streets for Long Island Advisory Committee, which will help allocate the $100,000 investment.

According to Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research data, there were over 2,800 DWI arrests in Nassau County and more than 2,900 DWI arrests in Suffolk County in 2014. In 2015, Suffolk had 866 alcohol-related crashes while Nassau had 573 alcohol-related crashes—both up from 2014.

Studies have shown that Uber can help reduce alcohol related fatalities in cities where it operates. For example, an independent study conducted by Temple University found that Uber’s entrance into various cities in California resulted in a 5 percent decrease in the number of people killed in alcohol-related car crashes. Uber also surveyed its U.S. rider base, and respondents told Uber the service has helped them make safe decisions to get home. In fact, 90 percent of riders say that Uber helps reduce drinking and driving and that Uber is riders’ top choice when they have had “too much alcohol to drive”—compared to other options.

Last month, the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo passed a bill that would allow ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate across the state, including Long Island. The services could begin operating as early as mid-July. A recent poll showed that 77 percent of suburban New Yorkers want ridesharing services to operate across the Empire State.

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