College students are among the target audience of the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety’s annual “Drive to Stay Alive” initiative. The annual Jackson State University and Alcorn State University football game has served as a venue to help raise awareness about the impact of impaired driving, particularly among African Americans.
On Friday, Nov. 15, a news conference was held on the JSU campus plaza featuring representatives of both historically black universities and officials from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the MOHS. The event came ahead of Saturday’s game at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
As part of the campaign, visitors to the JSU and Alcorn websites can participate in an online survey for a chance to win an Apple iPod. The survey tests readers’ knowledge of driving safety.
The “Drive to Stay Alive” campaign is designed to highlight the need to stop impaired driving, and to raise awareness of the disproportionate number of African Americans being killed in vehicular crashes throughout the country. In 2012 in Mississippi, there were 582 traffic-related fatalities, including 211 involving African Americans.
“We’re trying to reach as many as possible with our message. Driving to stay alive is the only way to drive,” said Shirley Thomas, director of the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety. “Of course, we urge motorists not to drink and drive. And, we’re reminding them that the best way to guard against those who choose to drink and drive is to wear a seatbelt.”