Uber has partnered with a New Jersey city’s campaign, called HERO, against drunk driving. The partnering initiative is designed to help make the roads safer.
Muriel and Bill Elliott started the HERO Campaign after losing their son, John, in an accident involving a drunk driver. The man who hit their son’s vehicle had been arrested three hours earlier for driving under the influence. After being released, the man returned to his SUV and hit the young man’s car, killing himself and John.
John had been driving home for his mother’s birthday.
Sea Isle City mayor Leonard Desiderio held a press conference to announce to partnership, with numerous supporters and officials in attendance. Among the notable attendees were the city’s Police Chief Thomas D’Intino, Jitney Association’s president Dave Berry, City Solicitor Paul Baldini, City Council member-elect J.P. Freely, and United Drivers International representative Lance Zeaman.
In 2013, there were 8,368 alcohol-related collisions in neighboring New York state, and 358 of those accidents resulted in death. The HERO Campaign aims to reduce that number by promoting designated driver efforts.
“We want to make sure through the HERO Campaign that no one ever gets that terrible phone call in the middle of the night that their child or loved one has been killed by a drunk driver,” said Bill Elliott.
Mr. Elliott said the couple established the HERO Campaign to “promote through many different means using designated drivers rather than drinking and trying to drive.”
“This campaign is a tribute to John, who was serving our country at the time of his death and is now serving our country in a different way,” he said.
Mayor Desiderio, who presented the couple with the key to the city, said it was an honor to bring together the HERO Campaign and Uber in the city of Sea Isle.
In support of the partnership, new regulations have been passed by New Jersey lawmakers, which strengthen consumer protections when using ride-share companies. These protections include better insurance provisions and background checks.
Uber New Jersey representative Craig Ewer said the first 2,000 people, starting from June 26, who take the campaign’s pledge to prevent drunk driving will receive a coupon for $10 off an Uber ride anywhere in the Garden State. Nearly 500 Uber drivers took the pledge last week, agreeing to be on the road as much as possible on weekends and evenings, when designated drivers are needed the most.