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December 1, 2003

Christmas Tree Distributors Promote Safe Driving

Tree Tags Spread “Drive Sober and Always Buckle Up” Message

Christmas tree distributors in Maryland are helping to promote safe driving in this holiday season. Each tree sold by selected dealers comes with an ornamental tag bearing a holiday safety message that reads, “Have a ball this holiday … Just don’t get smashed. Drive sober and always buckle up!” More than 30,000 tree tags have been distributed to tree retailers in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Harford, and Howard counties. The program is sponsored by the Towson Elks Lodge 469 and by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and its Central Maryland Regional Safe Communities Center, Center for Injury Research and Policy, and Central Maryland Community Traffic Safety Programs. 

December is designated as National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol is a factor in approximately 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes nationwide. Of these fatal crashes, only 23 percent of occupants chose to use their seat belts. Using a lap and shoulder belt can reduce the risk of fatal injuries for front seat passengers by approximately 45 percent. Encouraging adults of all ages to avoid getting “smashed” will help make this holiday season safe and enjoyable. Driving sober and buckling up can save lives.

For a list of participating tree vendors, contact Jackie Milani at 410-614-5555 or

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham at 410-955-6878 or