Hank's Take: Operation Saving Lives

- Evesham Mayor Randy Brown and Police Chief Chris Chew are proud of Evesham’s “Operation Saving Lives.” And it’s hard to argue with the numbers.

“Success to me is having zero fatalities since we started this program. DWI fatalities: Zero,” says the Chief. He adds that there has been a “35 to over 35 percent decrease in DWI arrests.”   Brown adds that between 5,000 and 6,000 free rides have been administered through Uber to people who needed to get home from bars and restaurants.

The program doesn’t rely on public money. Rather, it draws from a non-profit to which local resident, businesses and restaurants contribute. An average ride costs around $5.50. The program works across Evesham and Vorhees between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m., and that’s when the Marlton Tavern is doing the lion’s share of its night side business.

“It’s a win-win,” says owner George Lavdas, who adds that his customers don’t have to worry about getting home safely.

Route 70 carries thousands of cars through Evesham daily, so a palpable decrease in drunk driving and zero fatalities seems like a big deal.

The question is, where is everybody else on such developments? Mayor Brown says some politicians don’t like to roll the dice on new things, but Evesham has done the hard work and established a workable model. Other towns ought to try to follow suit.

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