MADD Cycling

I just visited two pages from Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, which is an organization which I highly respect. Here are people who took a tragedy and turned it into a mission to help others.

However, I noticed one omission. I didn’t see any information on _how_ one can go to a bar, drink, and get home safely. Yes, everyone knows about designated drivers. I agree with them 100%.

However, many times in my 20’s when I went out, it was solo. I was lucky (or smart) enough to always live close enough to a bar I could walk to. Barring that, I’d sometimes cycle to the bar. This is not as dangerous as you think.

It was only a few blocks on some quiet streets especially late at night. If I crashed, I’d only hurt myself. This never happened. If I was too drunk, I could always walk my bicycle on the sidewalk.

Other ways I’d get to distant bars was by public transportation.

I think that it would be nice to have these on the front pages, and do more on alternative transportation politically.

In order to facilitate this, I wrote them a letter. Looking forward to a response. Regarding SanDag, they didn’t get back to me yet. Probably after the holidays, I hope.

MADD Letter:

I have been a fan of MADD for years.

MADD’s commitment to eliminating drunk driving gives me hope for the world.

I often think about how many people died for no reason due to drunk driving, and I have struggled to come up with some ideas on how to prevent more drunk driving.

I’m sure that it hasn’t escaped your attention that many bars can only be reached by automobile. That guarantees that many people will drive drunk due to logistical problems.

By making it necessary for someone to drive from a bar not only does society seem to suggest that it’s OK to drink and drive, but it also makes it a necessity.

If alternate transportation were made available to bars, drinking and driving would go down. This is proven by the success of the St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl buses which eliminate the need for drinkers to drive.

Eliminating bars from places reached only by highway exits and reducing parking at places that provide alcohol would also reduce drinking and driving.

I know many people who would walk or take a bus to a bar, but drive instead because this is the only way to get there! Therefore, alternate transportation needs to be available at the hours when people drink. Often buses and trains stop service far before two AM, and they restrict service on weekends which
again, enables drinking and driving.

Finally, in places where buses and trains are not available, a bicycle is a much safer way to get to and from a bar. The bicycle has the advantage that the only person at risk is the rider. Imagine how many people would be alive if cars had the feature that they didn’t endanger anyone, but the driver!

Again, in many places, due to poor road conditions, it is unpractical to ride a bicycle to a bar.

If you are interested in exploring alternative transportation methods as a means for people to get to and from the bar, please let me know. Also, please let me know some suggestions on what can be done.

Currently, I am preparing a questionnaire that will be used to prepare a voting “cheat sheet” for those who wish for more alternate transportation. It would greatly help these efforts if MADD lent its credibility to this endeavor.

Wishing you the best,

Fred Ollinger

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