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TxDOT to test P.A.S.S. with UNT students

TxDOT to test P.A.S.S. with UNT students

Photo By Fey Sandoval / Staff Photographer

TxDOT to test P.A.S.S. with UNT students
August 27
12:58 2013

Jason Yang / Staff Writer

Designated drivers at UNT may soon receive a free meal or drink for their services if the Texas Department of Transportation’s new Person Appointed to Stay Sober application tests well with students.

“This application is the new logo: we want designated drivers to be sober, not just kind of drunk,” said Robert Ashford, a student worker at UNT’s Substance Abuse Research Center.

Starting this fall UNT, Midwestern State University and the University of Texas at Brownsville, are collaborating with TxDOT to promote its grant funded P.A.S.S. application.

Its mission is still finding designated drivers, but now the students can log into the Facebook page to register as designated drivers in exchange for gas money. TxDOT will collect and analyze feedbacks for future market research.

SARC coordinator Tim Trail said UNT is also working on a reward program for designated drivers with nearby bars and restaurants.

According UNT’s student affairs office, the Dean of Students had 351 referrals for alcohol in 2013, 46 more than in 2012. According to TxDOT, Denton had 112 alcohol-related accidents leading to 112 injuries and one fatality in 2012.

TxDOT public information officer Michelle Releford said these statistics pushed for the collaboration.

“Everything [TxDOT] does is all about influencing and directing behaviors toward safety,” Releford said. “That’s why we target universities. We want to teach students to be responsible and discover an easy way to keep themselves from driving drunk.”

Photo By Fey Sandoval / Staff Photographer

TxDOT launched P.A.S.S. in March 2011 as a weekend or holiday campaign, but this is its first permanent application. If it meets expectations, Trail said TxDOT might make a smartphone application. He said he hopes the program will become a school-wide tradition.

“We want to create a culture where the current student body can learn and educate the younger generations to be safer, healthier and have a better quality of life,” Trail said.

Lucky Lou’s manager Cody Coile said the managers from the nearby bars held meetings and agreed on the potential of the new campaign. He said although previous campaigns such as Pedi Cab have disappeared since its launch, he believes the P.A.S.S. program will be different because it’s more personal.

More information about the P.A.S.S. application can be found at ThePASSApp.com or UNT’s SARC homepage. There will be a launch event on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Photo By Fey Sandoval / Staff Photographer

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