WASHINGTON (Sept. 2, 2020) – Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities, today announced the “Call 811” sponsorship of jockey Manny Franco aboard heavy favorite Tiz the Law and at this Saturday’s 146th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
A coalition of CGA members joined together to bring the “Call 811” safety message to this year’s Triple Crown chase, including USA North 811, DigAlert, New York 811, Alabama 811, South Carolina 811, OHIO811, OKIE811, Kansas 811, TECO Energy, Southwest Gas, Pennsylvania 811, Texas811, Kentucky 811, and SoCal Gas. CGA members have sponsored winners in several recent Triple Crown races, including all three jewels in 2015 for the first Triple Crown win in 37 years. These sponsorships coincide with the busiest time of the year for digging by contractors and homeowners, and have resulted in record-breaking traffic to Call811.com -- demonstrating that race viewers wanted to learn more about the 811 service as a result of the races.
The 811 service helps homeowners and professionals who plan to dig avoid damaging buried utilities by allowing them to notify multiple utility companies with one free phone call to 811 or submission of an online request.
Everyone who calls 811 a few days before digging is connected to a local one call notification center that will take the caller’s information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional utility locating technicians will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint or flags. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.
Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities increases the likelihood of an unintentional damage, which can cause serious injuries, service disruptions and significant repair costs. An underground utility line is damaged every few minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to CGA data.
“The Common Ground Alliance is excited to partner with Manny Franco and Tiz the Law to help generate more awareness of the free 811 public safety service, particularly in a year when Americans are so eager to watch live sports and at a time of year when digging activity is high,” said Sarah K. Magruder Lyle, president and CEO of the Common Ground Alliance. “Every state across the country has laws that require a call to 811 prior to digging, so there is really no more natural partnership than ‘Tiz the Law to Call 811.’ We’re thankful to our members for making this opportunity to highlight 811 in front of a national TV audience of millions possible.”
Pre-race coverage begins Saturday at 2:30 p.m. EDT on NBC, with post times set for 6:50 p.m. For more information about safe digging, visit Call811.com.
CGA is a member-driven association of nearly 1,700 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the preeminent source of damage prevention data and information in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at http://www.commongroundalliance.com.