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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

PennDOT, Safety Partners Highlight Holiday Season Traffic Safety Initiative

​Montoursville, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Community Traffic Safety Project, the Pennsylvania DUI Association, and local police today held a press event at Wellsboro Area High School as part of a holiday season traffic safety initiative.

“Operation Safe Holiday” began on November 20th with the Thanksgiving “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt enforcement mobilization. Law enforcement agencies also will conduct sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols on Thanksgiving Eve, November 23 through the New Year’s holiday to crack down on drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. Drug-impaired driving accounted for nearly 50 percent of the DUI arrests in 2015.

Last year during the holiday season there were 9,014 crashes in Pennsylvania resulting in 91 fatalities. Thirty-eight of those crash fatalities were alcohol or drug related. PennDOT encourages you to always plan ahead by either designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation.

The SaferRide App, developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and available for free download on Android and Apple devices, is a great option to facilitate a safe ride home after you’ve been drinking. Once the app is downloaded, you can use it to call a taxi or a friend by identifying your location so you can be picked up.

The Pennsylvania DUI Association’s Moving Victim’s Memorial which features the names of 1,706 victims killed by impaired drivers on Pennsylvania roads was on display at the school. It was designed to honor those who have lost their lives as well as heighten awareness surrounding the consequences of driving under the influence. The memorial replicates an outdoor setting in tribute to the original stationary DUI Victim’s Memorial Garden located in Harrisburg.

Among the speakers at the event was Donna Miller, a mother who lost her son David at age 20 in a DUI crash. Miller spoke about what it was like to hear the devastating news that her son made the fateful decision to drink and drive and as a result, crashed and died. The news was made worse later when she learned he would have likely survived had he been wearing a seat belt.

PennDOT offers these tips for a ticket-free holiday season:
• Obey posted speed limits and traffic laws;
• Adapt your driving to weather conditions;
• Keep an eye out for aggressive drivers in high-traffic areas and resist the temptation to drive aggressively yourself;
• Avoid distractions and keep your eyes on the road at all times;
• Never drive impaired;
• Always wear your seat belt. Click It or Ticket.

Join the conversation on social media using #PASafeHoliday. For local updates on Twitter visit 511PA State College, and follow PennDOT on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews.

For more information about impaired driving and traffic safety, visit www.penndot.gov/safety or call 570-368-8686.

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