“Road Crew is an excellent travle alternative for citizens of participating communities when they are drinking and don't want to drive . People can go out and drink, have fun at bars, and still keep our roads safe by utilizing the Road Crew service instead of driving themselves.”
Alcohol Program Manager, WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety
Since its inception in 2001, Road Crew has provided over 50,000 rides. It is operating in five Wisconsin counties, with three new communities expected to launch in spring 2007. Research conducted during an initial yearlong demonstration project in 2001-2002 showed that Road Crew rides resulted in an estimated 17% reduction in drunk driving crashes in the three original communities.
Social marketing borrows commercial marketing techniques that are commonly used to motivate consumers to try new products. Commercial marketers realize that to get people to try a new product, it must be appealing and serve a need. If the need is for people to get home after excessive drinking, there must be alternative appealing ways for them to do so. This initiative focused on those who are not necessarily identified as problem drinkers, but who need to get home after an evening of excessive drinking without driving themselves.
MasComm Associates contracts with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to recruit and recommend new Road Crew communities, and work extensively with those chosen to deliver a successful program to their communities that can be self0sustaining. Current project partners include the University of Wisconsin School of Business and the Tavern League of Wisconsin. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Miller Brewing Company, and Lindsay, Stone, and Briggs provided support for the initial project development.
Michael Rothschild was the project Principal Investigator. He trains communities in social marketing strategies and manages the research component of the project. Beth Mastin, as Project Manager, oversees all facets of the project, including site visits, coordination with communities, presenting at training events, and managing operations. Karen Hodgkiss, Community Coordinator, is the main contact person for participating communities, and also provides writing and editing for the social marketing toolbox and conference planning.