Police cruiser/cab sends ‘choose your ride’ message

Events like Back to the Bricks in Flint, the 28th Street Metro Cruise in west Michigan and the Woodward Dream Cruise in metro Detroit are a sure sign summer is winding down in Michigan.

Those classic cars may have some competition from a new custom cruiser sure to turn some heads.

This ride is a tricked-out warning on wheels, with a custom taxi cab wrap on half of the patrol car.

The intent is to convey a special message for drunk drivers: choose your ride.

The “hybrid” vehicle will be seen on mobile billboards to help launch an end-of-summer statewide drunk driving crackdown that involves local police departments, sheriff offices and Michigan State Police posts in 26 counties through Labor Day weekend.

“We hope this cruiser-cab catches people’s attention about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over drunk driving crackdown,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).

“Everyone should be on notice that law enforcement officers are serious about stopping and arresting drunk drivers.”

Motorists are also being warned about the stepped-up patrols through an advertising campaign largely concentrated in metro Detroit, west Michigan and Genesee and Saginaw counties.

Law enforcement officers from 155 agencies in Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Chippewa, Delta, Eaton, Genesee, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Marquette, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Ogemaw, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw and Wayne counties are participating in the larger, nationwide drunk driving crackdown.

The Novi Police Department in Oakland County received second place recognition for the 2013 Award for Traffic Safety Excellence presented annually by AAA Michigan, the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) and OHSP for a “Choose Your Ride” campaign that wrapped an actual patrol car as a half taxi to discourage drunk driving.

The advertising campaign and stepped-up enforcement are paid for with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by OHSP.

During last year’s campaign, officers made approximately 350 drunk driving arrests and issued more than 4,500 seat belt citations.

Nearly a third of the state’s traffic deaths involve alcohol and/or drugs.

This project is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in February.

 

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