You know the show “Chopped!”?
Well, this morning, we teamed up with our Vision Zero partners at Lyft, along with a crew of local media personalities, for a joint effort we’re calling, Baked! Munchies Challenge. And no, there were no special brownies. Or baking. But one team did use the oven, so that counts, right? They did have to incorporate at least one type of chip into their creation (Funyuns, Doritos Munchie, and cheese balls). Mmmm.
(Left to right) Todd Kelsay, Lyft General Manager for the Pacific Northwest doing some focused chopping with his teammates Lester Black, The Stranger’s weed columnist, and Tanya Ellis with SDOT.
In the run-up to 4/20 (ahem, national let’s get high day), we thought it would be a fun way to raise awareness of the more serious issue of impaired driving. Because when it comes to street safety, the stakes are high. And yeah, we’re definitely reusing pot puns (Earth Day is right around the corner).
You may be wondering, “Munchies. Really?”
Well, we wanted to lure people in with something creative before going all safety on you. Plus, the activity showcased the importance of teaming up (sometimes with unlikely characters), and how valuable partnerships are in achieving a shared vision for safer streets.
It may be legal to get high, but it’s not legal to drive high.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marijuana can slow your reaction time and ability to make decisions, impair coordination, and distort perception – all key functions to driving.
In Seattle, we see close to 13,000 crashes every year, resulting in an average of 20 people losing their lives and 150 people being seriously injured. Impairment, whether alcohol or drugs, accounts for an average of 20% of those fatal crashes every year.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can help prevent accidents crashes, in part through education and partnership efforts like this. This 4/20, if you’re planning on partoking (does that work?), plan ahead for a safe ride home. There’s a reason why we’re posting this a few days before 4/20 – we want people to have this info handy before they’re, um, incapacitated.
Through our partnership, Lyft is providing up to $4.20 off 2 rides all day on April 20 to new and existing users with the promo code SEA420. We hope people will take advantage of a discounted, safe ride home.
And the winner is…
So what munchie ended up winning? Every team pulled together some pretty creative and tasty plates – mac and cheese, pizza, fries. In the end, Team #2 came through with a duo of deep fried goodness (hushpuppies and fries) and a trio of sauces for the win.
After the competition, we also tested out a pair of cannabis goggles and ran through some mini sobriety tests with our SPD partners. Smoking marijuana definitely impacts your ability to even follow directions (imagine how it can mess with your ability to do something like driving). The key message from the folks who tested out the goggles: don’t drive high.