It’s the holidays. Some people are going to be idiots and drive drunk. Since 1977, police across Ontario have been trying to stop them by running spot checks as part of the Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere, or RIDE, program—which aims to not only catch drunk drivers, but deter them altogether. The police don’t make the locations of those spot checks public, for obvious reasons: doing so would help people get away with driving drunk.
But we know, this year, that people are helping others get away with driving drunk—by broadcasting that information on Twitter, using the hashtag #RIDE. On Christmas morning, Corey Mintz named a few of those people. His explanation of why he did is worth reading:
Some who have been tweeting RIDE locations, or defending the practice (or their friends) have done so under the guise of helping people avoid traffic slowdowns. I respect a good bit of spin and so I tip my hat to this argument. I also would not like being stopped in my car, made to wait, answer police questions or take a sobriety test. If someone told me how to avoid that, I would appreciate it.
The problem with this explanation is that it’s not true. One of the gentlemen from Christmas Eve used the hashtag #avoidifhammered. Another explained in his bio that he likes “to get really blackout drunk and do stupid shit.”
These boyscouts were not trying to help me save time. They were trying to help me drive drunk. Attempts to spin their behavior are just that, spin.
Media coverage of the problem has since exploded, but, unintentionally, it’s also pointed every wannabe drunk driver in the direction of where to find information that’ll help them avoid getting caught, and every dummy with a Twitter account in the direction of how and where to help them. It’s 1 a.m. on the Friday night before New Year’s Eve as I write this, and they’re doing it right now.
There is one really simple thing to do that might make a difference, though, and that’s to turn #RIDE from a hashtag that helps people drive drunk into one that makes it harder for them to.
It’s easy: when you tweet this New Year’s Eve, use the hashtag #RIDE—the same one people have been using to share RIDE check locations. Use the hashtag #RIDE especially if you’re sharing an anti–drunk driving message, and especially if it’s after midnight. “My uncle was killed by a drunk driver in 2008. Please don’t drink and drive. #RIDE.” “Remember, the TTC is free after midnight tonight! Maybe you’ll get to ride one of those fancy new subway trains. #RIDE.” That kind of stuff—whatever works for you.
The more of it, by the more people, the better. If someone is searching for RIDE locations on New Year’s Eve, those are the tweets they should see, not the location of a spot check. It’s worth a shot.
- illusivedesigns reblogged this from davidtopping
- danlevy reblogged this from davidtopping
- leoine-obrien reblogged this from davidtopping
- cna-certification-a reblogged this from davidtopping
- solchrom likes this
- sxizzor reblogged this from nancaia and added:
- aimalyn reblogged this from davidtopping
- girloddity reblogged this from davidtopping
- rachelyourfriend reblogged this from davidtopping
- nancaia reblogged this from priestoftime
- priestoftime reblogged this from davidtopping
- runnerups reblogged this from davidtopping
- jocelynnrennie reblogged this from annetdonahue
- countyreferencedesk reblogged this from davidtopping
- captainlatte likes this
- powder-blue reblogged this from annetdonahue
- sparrowqueen reblogged this from davidtopping
- sparrowqueen likes this
- ivanvector reblogged this from davidtopping
- annetdonahue reblogged this from davidtopping and added:
- mariammatti likes this
- maxvaliquette reblogged this from davidtopping
- bears-inlove reblogged this from davidtopping
- calhoun reblogged this from davidtopping
- sodisarmingdarling reblogged this from davidtopping
- davidtopping posted this