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National Survey Reveals Long-term Progress Among Adults 21 Plus in Abating Driving While Buzzed

don't drink and drive

NEW YORK, NY--November 12, 2013: Today the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) (TVB), the not-for-profit trade association of America’s commercial broadcast television industry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Ad Council kicked off the tenth year of their nationwide public service advertising (PSA) initiative, “Project Roadblock: Local TV Puts the Brakes on Drunk Driving.” Local broadcasters support the Project Roadblock initiative to combat drunk driving by donating on-air, online and mobile advertising assets to the PSA campaign, which will take place between December 26th and December 31st, 2013, the holiday period identified by the NHTSA as having one of the highest incidences of drunk driving fatalities. To commemorate Project Roadblock’s 10th Anniversary, broadcasters will add an advertising roadblock to this year’s campaign by running a “Buzzed Driving” PSA at 10pm on New Year’s Eve on every participating station across the country.

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Last year’s Project Roadblock resulted in more than 1,370 broadcast television stations and Digital Sub Channels donating almost 50,000 placements of on-air, online and mobile time and space. The PSAs reached 99.8% of US television households in 205 markets, with stations contributing an estimated $4.3 million dollars of air time over the six day period between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said of the initiative, “National advertising campaigns, such as Project Roadblock, combined with tough and consistent enforcement of drunk driving laws can effectively influence behavior change. We encourage all revelers to plan ahead before the holiday festivities begin by designating a sober driver, arranging to take public transportation, or using your community sober ride program. Drunk driving crashes are 100 percent preventable – if you’ve had too much to drink, make the safe and responsible decision to give up the keys.”

According to a national survey1 conducted by the Ad Council in January 2013, only eight percent of adults age 21 plus said they would be “extremely” or “very” likely to drive home while buzzed, down nearly 50% from those surveyed in 2005. Most notably, a higher percentage (49%) say they would “always” get a ride, taxi or public transport rather than drive if they felt buzzed, an increase of 17% from 2005.

“Local TV broadcasters are committed to serving the interests of local communities across the nation and TVB is enormously proud of all of the station groups who together have donated nearly $30 million in air time in the past ten years to help save lives,” said Steve Lanzano, CEO of TVB. “Local broadcast television is the most powerful medium to reach consumers and these valuable impressions continue to resonate with local audiences and positively impact their behavior throughout the holiday season and beyond. All TVB member stations are encouraged to take part this year to continue to help NHTSA and the Ad Council increase awareness that consuming even a few drinks can impair driving and that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving during the 2013 holiday season.”

Local television stations will premiere new television PSAs, “Neon Signs” created pro bono by New York-based advertising agency Merkley+Partners, during the Project Roadblock 2013 campaign. The PSAs will continue to reinforce the financial consequences of buzzed driving in an effort to communicate that getting pulled over for buzzed driving can cost around $10,000 in fines, legal fees, and increased insurance rates. In addition to airing the new spots on their primary and D2 channels, TV stations will use Merkley+Partners’ digital creative to reach audiences through mobile and social media platforms.

“For more than 30 years we have partnered with NHTSA to work towards eliminating impaired driving,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO, Ad Council. “Our invaluable ten year partnership with TVB and their members is helping us reach this goal. Their generosity on the air and online has not only heightened awareness but inspired adults to refrain from drinking and driving.”

“We are all very proud of the work that we are creating with the Ad Council and NHTSA,” said Andy Hirsch, Executive Creative Director and Partner of Merkley+Partners. “What better gift for the holidays than to help save a life?”

Project Roadblock is the Local Broadcast Television industry’s extension of NHTSA and the Ad Council’s ‘Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving’ PSA campaign. Launched in December 2005, the multi-media campaign has received more than $410 million in donated media.

For more information about Project Roadblock 2013 visit Project Road Block.

About NHTSA For more than four decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has served as the key federal agency charged with improving safety on our nation’s roadways. As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA is working to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries by promoting the use of safety belts and child safety seats; helping states and local communities address the threat of drunk drivers; regulating safety standards and investigating safety defects in motor vehicles; establishing and enforcing fuel economy standards; conducting research on driver behavior and traffic safety; and providing consumer information on issues ranging from child passenger safety to impaired driving.