In an effort to cut down on drunk driving, 200 bars and restaurants in Michigan now have “talking” urinal cakes (small disinfectant blocks) in their restrooms to encourage patrons to call a cab or a friend if they have had too much to drink. 400 urinal cakes have been distributed by the Office of Highway Safety Planning, a division of the Michigan State Police, who planned and coordinated this federally funded effort in time for July 4th.
This proactive and innovative method of dealing with drunk driving takes advantage of the fact that most people use the restroom before they leave the bar. The Detroit News reports that the interactive urinal communicators, created by Wizmark, feature a print message and a brief motion-activated audio message:
Listen up. That’s right, I’m talking to you. Had a few drinks? Maybe a few too many? Then do yourself and everyone else a favor: Call a sober friend or a cab. Oh, and don’t forget to wash your hands.
They use a woman’s voice to get men’s attention, combining surprise and humor with the aim of leaving a lasting impression. The restroom reminders are part of a larger effort that also includes a statewide Fourth of July drunk driving crackdown, with law enforcement officers conducting additional drunk driving patrols through July 8th.