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Transport / Mass transit

Uber's handing out free breathalyser tests and rides in Toronto

The rate of drink-driving accidents in Canada triples after midnight. But an unlikely white knight has stepped in to help: rideshare company Uber, late of such inspired PR efforts as rides with “incredibly hot chicks” and getting banned in Frankfurt for lacking proper licenses (the ban was later lifted).

The company installed a breathalyser on a street in Toronto, where late night revelers can blow into a disposable straw to test their alcohol levels. The station then automatically summons an Uber taxi if you’re over the limit.

Here’s the promo video:

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Yes, “Uber Safe”, the campaign’s tagline, seems a little ironic considering recent stories of violence against passengers, or the driver who wouldn’t give a ride to a gay couple. But the company clearly needs to clean up its public image – and this doesn’t seem like such a terrible way to go about it. 

One downside is that any sane Torontonian would go out and get as hammered as possible, just to ensure they can get a free ride home. It therefore seems a little unlikely the campaign will be long-running. But an Uber spokesperson hinted to Buzzfeed that the breathalyser could pop up in other cities: 

We’ve been thrilled by the interest this has generated and we will continue to find ways to help people remember that ride-sharing is a responsible choice… terms of where we might take the Uber Safe breathalyzer next… stay tuned!

In our unbiased opinion, London would be the ideal choice. 


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