Operation Safe Crossing


Operation Safe Crossing is a project breaking new ground by forging relationships between science and community action elements to reduce drunk driving. The project uses a media advocacy process in which local leaders are used as spokespersons to release new data at news conferences. Data from a border breath-test survey were used to dramatize the problem and gain public support for action. The data were also used to help design the enforcement effort and measure progress in reducing the cross-border drinking problem.Analysis of data involving more than 2 million pedestrians returning from Tijuana indicated that the Operation Safe Crossing program reduced the number of late-night crossers by 31.6%. Further, the number of underage drinking pedestrians significantly declined on average by 7.7 per month or 51.2%.The symbiotic relationship between media advocacy, enforcement, and science seems to be producing the desired effect. Effective use of data through media advocacy programs to support an enforcement effort can reduce alcohol-related crashes.