VIDEO: Ring in New Year with a HERO-ic Plunge to Help Prevent Drunk DrivingPosted:
ATLANTIC COUNTY - According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alcohol-related crashes kill 10,000 Americans each year.
For a holiday such as New Year’s Eve it’s important to always have a designated driver, according to the NHTS, and for Bill Elliott this hits close to home.
“Our son was killed by a drunk driver because the person who hit and killed him had a friend who put him back behind the wheel instead of driving him home," said Elliott, chairman and CEO of the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign.
"So for us having a designated driver is a matter of life and death.”
Out of that terrible tragedy, the HERO campaign was born. It's goal is to register 100,000 people to take the HERO Pledge: to drive sober, be a designated driver and to never let friends drink and drive.
“On New Year’s Eve in particular we work with bars and taverns to promote designated driving," said Elliott. "We are building the number of bars and taverns that will recognize HERO designated drivers and give them a free soft drink.”
Lindsay Conroy is getting married on New Year's Eve and is planning a big bash for the reception. She said she plans to provide a shuttle to guarantee all of her guests are safe.
“Drinking and driving is awful even at a small amount," said Conroy. "It’s a good way to know that all of your guests are going to get home safe and not have to worry about it.”
Just hours after they wed, the bride-to-be and her groom will plunge into the ocean in Ocean City in support of the HERO campaign. For the second year in a row, the HERO campaign will start the year promoting designated driving with an organized public plunge into the chilly waters of the Atlantic on the morning of New Year's Day.
“A lot of crazy people love to jump in the ocean; polar plunges are popular," said Elliott. "But this is for a good cause and to promote designated driving and prevent drunk driving — everyone is for that.”
If you’re interested in taking the plunge or to pledge visit HEROcampaign.org.
SNJ Today is a Southern New Jersey news and information source based in Millville, New Jersey, that is dedicated to providing current stories related specifically to South Jersey.