Saturday, July 13

Nebraska Attempts to Fight Drunk Driving with New Bilingual Billboard Ads

Drunk driving is a serious issue that exists all across the country. Nebraska has decided that enough is enough. The state has chosen its busiest city, Omaha, to be the guinea pig for its newest billboard campaign. Why billboards? Billboards are actually very successful at conveying a message to drivers while they are on the road. In fact, 71% of people, drivers and passengers, look up at the messages that are on roadside billboards, and this includes traditional billboards and digital messages.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation reported that over 4,300 crashes occurred in Douglas County alone in 2016, and 286 of them were caused by alcohol-related issues. Unfortunately, these crashes killed approximately 10,500 people that year.

This new billboard campaign is aiming to create 11 bilingual billboards warning drivers and passengers of the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol. These billboards will display a digital message, showing a person in handcuffs. There will then be a message underneath in English and in Spanish warning drivers not to drink and drive.

Captain Kathy Gonzalez of the Omaha Police Department thinks that the billboards are a great idea. She says that the community needs to be better educated about the dangers of drunk driving, and they need to understand that serious consequences can follow. The billboards are just a start to the campaign. The ads will soon appear on TV, in magazines and newspapers, and on the radio. Omaha is getting serious about combating drunk driving in the area.

Ben Salazar, a community organizer with La Casa del Pueblo, is thrilled that the ads will include the Spanish speaking population in the community. He comments that this problem has not been addressed enough in the Spanish speaking community. He says that it’s time for the Hispanic community to be included. He tells Star Herald, “It’s been bothering me for several years and causes me great pain every time a Hispanic driver causes mayhem in the streets.”

Nebraska is setting an amazing example for the rest of the country when it comes to fighting the drunk driving epidemic that is happening everywhere. Will other states follow suit and join the cause to help end drinking and driving?

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