A Caltrans program that started in 2002, allowed families of DUI victims to purchase a billboard in California and write the name of the victim and a message. Most people would write something along the lines of “Don’t Drink and Drive.” An assemblywoman now wants to expand this program to include victims of traffic accidents not involving drugs and alcohol. Critics of the bill say that there are already too many billboards that are very distracting for drivers. They worry that since so many people are killed on California freeways due to traffic accidents, there would be hundreds of billboards which means more work for Caltrans and more distractions for drivers.
The DUI victim’s program has been said to be successful in reducing the number of DUI fatalities. A study found that in the 16 counties where memorial signs were erected, alcohol related deaths decreased in the three years after the sign, by about 79 people.
I think billboards memorializing DUI victims are a great idea that can reduce DUI fatalities. On the other hand though, I do think that billboards are distracting to drivers. I think billboards should just be limited to DUI victims (not traffic victims) and the billboards should have an informative message or statistic to inform drivers of the dangers of drinking and driving.
If you have any questions about driving under the influence or about your own charges, please call Orange County defense attorney William Weinberg, at 949.474.8009 (Irvine office) or 714.834.1400 (Orange office).