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Directions in Highway Safety, Summer 2009 Cover Page Download Newsletter pdf
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Summer 2009 | Vol. 12 | No. 2

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Responsibility Has Its Rewards With GHSA’s Michigan Office

By: Jill Pepper, Executive Director, TEAM Coalition

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (MOHSP) is partnering with TEAM Coalition (TEAM) to make sure Detroit sport fans know the benefits of having a designated driver and wearing their seat belts.

TEAM Coalition (www.teamcoalition.org) is an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaires, stadium service providers, the beer industry, broadcasters, governmental traffic safety experts, and others working together to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities.

In this multi-year effort, TEAM and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning are reaching the fans of all four major league Detroit sport teams—Detroit Tigers (MLB), Detroit Red Wings (NHL), Detroit Pistons (NBA) and Detroit Lions (NFL)—to promote the Responsibility Has Its Rewards (RHIR) campaign.

Detroit Redwings Fans

RHIR promotes responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sporting events and entertainment venues. The campaign highlights traffic safety messages, including “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk” to encourage the use of designated drivers, and “Buckle Up—Every Trip, Every Time” for seat belt usage. RHIR offers responsible fans who pledge to be designated drivers a seasonlong sweepstakes which rewards them with a chance to follow their favorite team to the championship game or series, including tickets to the World Series, Super Bowl and NBA Finals. As a safety program, RHIR reinforces positive fan behavior, while TEAM training in effective alcohol management provides necessary tools for venue and concessionaire employees to manage alcohol consumption.

In the spring of 2008, TEAM and MOHSP filmed fans who pledged to be responsible for Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for the Tigers. In December of 2008, Red Wings and Pistons fans, who made the same pledge, were invited to tape their own RHIR responsibility messages for additional PSAs.

Detroit Tigers Fans

After each event, fans that participated received an email message directing them to a customized website that shows all the fan videos and the final PSAs that will be played on the video boards at Comerica Park, Joe Louis Arena and the Palace of Auburn Hills. The PSAs, fan videos and photos can be found at www.rhir.org/partners/partners_miohsp.asp.

This month, TEAM and MOHSP will partner with the Detroit Lions to produce similar PSAs. In addition to these most recent efforts, MOHSP and TEAM have partnered to reward responsibility at multiple NASCAR events, Super Bowl XL, and the 2005 MLB All-Star Game. “Regardless of the sport, if you plan on consuming alcohol, whether you are at the game or watching from a house party or sports bar, pass your keys to a sober, designated driver before the party begins,” said Michael Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. “We commend all the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign partners for creating this incentive for fans who make the responsible decision to designate a driver.”

For more information, please contact Jill Pepper at jill@teamcoalition.org or visit booth #16 at the GHSA Annual Meeting.