Student Drowsy Driving Program Adds Hotels Before Spring Break

March 3, 2000

by Lori Scott Fogleman

More than 50 Super 8 Motels in nine states have agreed to provide discounted room rates for college students as part of the Lupe Medina Program, a safety awareness program that strives to prevent drowsy driving during late night hours and heavily traveled times such as spring break.

The hotel discount program grew out of a partnership developed between the student governments of Baylor University, Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University, after the tragic deaths of several students in drowsy driving accidents.

"We hope that students take advantage of this program as they drive cross country or even across the state," said Baylor student body president Jon Rolph, a junior from Wichita, Kan. "Seventy-two percent of college-age students say they have driven while drowsy and they make up a majority of these types of accidents. We [Baylor and other universities] have been through so many tragedies this year that we hope that students will drive smart."

Special rates will be offered to "drowsy driving" students traveling at least 55 miles from their home campus. Discounts for students traveling within 50 miles of their home school are at the discretion of the general manager. Students must present a valid student I.D. upon check-in.

Rolph has watched the number of motels and inns participating in the program grow from 10 before the Thanksgiving holiday to 58 today, with locations in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. Selected Hampton Inns in Texas also are participating, and more colleges and universities, including Texas Lutheran, the University of Texas and other Big 12 schools, have expressed their interest in promoting the program.

"It has been our dream to expand this nationwide," Rolph said. "We believe this is a serious enough issue that affects every college student on every campus."

For more information on the program, call the Baylor student government office at (254) 710-2368 or log on to www.baylor.edu/~Drowsy_Driving/ .

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