Health Department promotes healthy driving

Published 2:25 pm Monday, April 22, 2019

Rowan County Health Department

With much attention these days focused on the opioid issue, people may be hearing less about car crashes involving alcohol or arrests for driving while impaired.

County health rankings show that in Rowan County, 17% of adults report binge or heavy drinking and 24% of driving deaths involved alcohol.

In light of the school prom season and pending summer vacations, the Rowan County Health Department wants to remind drivers of the dire consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Amy Smith, public health educator, contacted Sheriff Kevin Auten to discuss the possibility of getting area law enforcement agencies together for a photo session. Kevin Davis, director of Mid-Carolina Regional Airport, helped secure a location.

Andrew Toms, a photographer and firefighter with the Salisbury Fire Department, agreed to take photographs. Auten contacted area police departments and invited them to take part. Capt. D.H. Robinson of the N.C. Highway Patrol went secured a helicopter.

Officers and cars from the China Grove, East Spencer, Granite Quarry-Faith, Kannapolis, Landis, Rockwell, Salisbury and Spencer police departments participated in the photo shoot. Officers from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and the Highway Patrol also were present.

A billboard created from the photograph will be erected on Interstate 85 in two locations and be up for eight weeks. The message encourages readers not to drink and drive. If you must drink, be responsible and designate a driver, the Health Department says, and don’t put yourself and others in harm’s way.