Waymo’s Autonomously Driven Vehicles Display Red Ribbons To Celebrate 35 Years of the Designated Driver and Remind Everyone to Never Drink and Drive
CHANDLER, AZ – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Waymo launched the 35th Anniversary Tie One On for Safety Holiday Campaign today at Waymo’s Chandler operations center, where the entire fleet of autonomously driven vehicles displayed a red ribbon reminder to always designate a non-drinking driver.
Tie One On for Safety is MADD’s longest-running Designated Driver Campaign. Launched in 1986, “tie one on” is a throwback to the days when people would use the term as slang for consuming alcohol. For the past 35 years, MADD has used the phrase to demonstrate how everyone can tie a red ribbon – or more recently place red ribbon magnets or decals – on their car as a reminder to always designate a non-drinking driver. That message is especially important when holiday travel, parties, and family gatherings put more people on the roads.
“As we enter the busy holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we want everyone to stay safe and enjoy this festive time by making sure plans for a designated driver are a top priority,” said MADD National President Alex Otte. “Whether you’re going out or hosting friends and family at home, planning for a non-drinking driver or confirming your guests have one is the most important decision you can make.”
“Everyone deserves to have fun and get home safe during the holidays,” said Mauricio Peña, Waymo’s chief safety officer. “At Waymo, we’re proud to display red ribbons on our entire fleet — from our all-electric Jaguar I-PACEs in California to our Class 8 trucks in Dallas — and offer a safe mode of transportation to our Waymo One riders in Phoenix and San Francisco this holiday season.”
The holidays are traditionally more dangerous on America’s roads, and recent traffic fatality estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show tragedies have skyrocketed during the pandemic largely due to impaired driving, speeding and not wearing seatbelts. An estimated 20,160 people died in traffic crashes in the first half of 2021, which is the largest number of projected traffic fatalities in that time frame since 2006. Other NHTSA reports show an alarming increase in the presence of alcohol and other drugs – and combinations of more than one impairing substance – in seriously and fatally injured patients at five trauma centers since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
“We know the past year and a half has been like no other, and we hope everyone will do their part to stop this public safety crisis,” Otte said. “It will take everyone to stop these tragedies, and we are so grateful to Waymo for their partnership and for sharing our vision of zero deaths and zero injuries caused by drunk and drug-impaired driving.”
To learn more about Tie One On for Safety and for safe party tips, visit madd.org/toofs.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.
Waymo is an autonomous driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going. Since its start as the Google Self-Driving Car Project in 2009, Waymo has been focused on building the Waymo Driver, the World’s Most Experienced Driver, to improve access to mobility while saving thousands of lives now lost to traffic crashes. The Waymo Driver powers Waymo One, the world’s first fully autonomous ride-hailing service, as well as Waymo Via, our trucking and local delivery solution. To date, Waymo has autonomously driven tens of millions of miles on public roads and tens of billions of miles in simulation, across 10 U.S. states. For more: www.waymo.com
Contact: Becky Iannotta, 202.600.2032, [email protected]