Department of Texas Transportation emphasize safety during holid - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Department of Texas Transportation emphasize safety during holidays

The Texas Department of Transportation came to the Music City Mall in Odessa with a message for everyone driving this holiday season. Their message this afternoon was paired with the "Plan While You Can" campaign, giving residents a perspective of what it's like to drive under the influence.

Gene Powell, Public Information Officer of TxDot's Odessa District says, "We're out here today at Music City Mall and we're doing  an interactive experience called impaired dodge ball, and really it's a little way to have fun while teaching a serious message.

The game simulates what a person reaction time would be after drinking alcohol. According to statistics from TxDot, during the 2014 thru 2015 holiday season (Dec.1st -Jan.1st), 110 alcohol related fatalities happened in Texas, out of those, 6 were reported within the Midland and Ector counties. West Texas TxDot P.I.O. Gene Powell says these numbers are way too high.
     
"Obviously it's still an issue, it's a very important issue. We don't want anyone's holiday season ruined by losing a loved one because of a fatal crash," says Powell.

One participant explains the interactive game was more difficult than he expected. It gave him an understanding of how alcohol can change your perception of what's going on around you.

Daylon Payne, an Odessa resident says, "It was really confusing and hard especially when the drinks came in, like I couldn't really move that much. Whenever drink two came in, I just pretty much stayed still because there was no point I was going to get hit." 

His message to you this holiday season is a simple one.

"Don't drink and drive," says Payne.

TxDot's "Plan While You Can" holiday campaign concludes January, 1st 2016.  

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