Snellville - Do you want to ride in a taxi cab, or the back seat of a police car?
That’s the question Snellville Councilman Bobby Howard wants you to think about when you see the city’s Cop Cab - and when you may have had too much to drink.
A refurbished police car, the Cop Cab made its debut at the Snellville Farmer’s Market last Saturday and it will be placed in locations around the city as a visual reminder that if you've had too much to drink, you have a choice; you can drive home drunk and risk having an accident being arrested or worse someone dies or you can call a cab. The now-retired police car is painted to look like a Snellville police car on the front half and a taxi cab on the back half.
Howard said it is designed to point out the cost difference between taking a $40 cab ride home and a $10,000 driving while under the influence arrest.
Snellville Councilman Bobby Howard with Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead with the Cop Cab
Howard and Police Chief Roy Whitehead point out that the vehicle will not be providing cab service. Its purpose is to raise public awareness of the tremendous costs and hardships caused by drunk driving, and the simple, safe and low cost alternative. Its next appearance will be July 4 at Snellville’s Star-Spangled Celebration on the Towne Green in front of City Hall.
“I want to express my thanks to everyone who has supported this project.” Howard said. “This vehicle will be a great ambassador for our city and we will begin immediately sending it out into the community. We have some big plans and just to start, it will be appearing at the Fourth of July program and at the Light up Gwinnett event, July 12 at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds. This event brings attention to the state's "Move Over Law". We look forward to showcasing the Cop Cab at a variety of locations including our sponsors’ businesses. The car really looks fantastic and many thanks go to Kathy Emanuel and A Better Sign for getting it done!”
Even before the Cop Cab was finished, the concept made a positive impression on a number of people. At a January City Council meeting, Howard shared with South Gwinnett High School students in attendance the significance of the program and his personal connection with it. He told the audience that when he was a 16, he went to a Braves game, had too much to drink and got behind the wheel of his car to drive home. He said he ended up flipping the car over several times and was lucky to get out alive. After telling the story, he received a Facebook message from a parent whose child was in the audience that night and spoke about it to his mother about what he had heard at the council meeting.
No taxpayer funds were used for Snellville's Cop Cab. It was completely funded by private donations. Sponsors include:
Snellville Police Department
Snellville Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association
Snellville Tourism & Trade
The Snellville Lions Club
Snellville Sunrise Rotary
Walker-Smith Body Shop
A Better Sign
Emergency Equipment Specialists
Wild Wing Cafe
Snellville Councilman Bobby Howard and Snellville Police Department
Do Not Drink and Drive! #donotdrinkanddrive #designateddriver #pimpmyrideifyoudrinkanddrive