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Half taxi, half police car is a reminder of choices in drunken driving for KC area

Thinking of drinking and driving? A half taxi, half police car drives home that there is a choice

Hoping to reduce drunk driver deaths and injuries, a half police car, half taxi cab was on display at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office in Lee's Summit Wednesday to remind drivers they have a choice of rides when it comes to drinking and driving.
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Hoping to reduce drunk driver deaths and injuries, a half police car, half taxi cab was on display at the Jackson County Sheriff's Office in Lee's Summit Wednesday to remind drivers they have a choice of rides when it comes to drinking and driving.

A new car unveiled this week in Kansas City isn’t your typical hybrid.

This one — half taxi and half police car — is aimed at reminding people to choose a safe ride home and not to drink and drive.

The Jackson County Traffic Safety Task Force introduced the “Choose Your Ride” car Wednesday at a press conference at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. It is painted to look in part like a taxi cab and in part like a police car.

“I think it’s a great visual because it shows everybody has a choice and it shows what those choices look like,” said Leann Lewis of the Heartland Chapter of the Mothers against Drunk Driving.

Lewis saw a similar initiative in Florida and wanted that message brought to the Kansas City area, she said.

The taxi portion of the car represents choosing a designated driver or taxi as the way to get home safely after drinking. The police car portion represents the possible consequences if you drink and drive.

“The cost of a taxi is minimal,” Lewis said. “Choosing to drink and drive may cost over $10,000 or worse — it may cost you your life or it may cost the life of someone else.”

The car may look confusing at first, said Independence police Sgt. Jason Petersen, who is also president of the Jackson County Traffic Safety Task Force President.

“Hopefully that very short message on the side hits home,” he said.

The half taxi, half police car is the first of what is hoped to be several in the Kansas City area The Jackson County Traffic Safety Task Force along with MADD, MoDOT, KC Scout, MARC, Union Pacific and several law enforcement collaborated in the effort.

Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb
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