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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nine Killed In Memorial Day Weekend Crashes In PA

Troopers Issue More than 9,400 Speeding Citations during Holiday Driving Period

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 26 -- Nine people were killed and 309 others were injured in 712 crashes investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police during the four-day Memorial Day holiday driving period, Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said today.

Seven of those killed were not wearing seatbelts and four of the fatalities resulted from alcohol-related crashes, Pawlowski said.

He said the number of speeding citations issued by troopers during the driving period increased about 20 percent, from 7,848 in 2008 to 9,434 this year.

"Drivers need to slow down, particularly during the heavily traveled holiday weekends," Pawlowski said. "Aggressive driving behaviors are becoming far too common on highways across the nation, putting everyone who travels at risk."

The official holiday driving period covered Friday through Monday. During that time, state police arrested 341 individuals for driving under the influence, cited 810 individuals for not wearing seatbelts and issued citations to 76 for not securing children in safety seats.

During last year's four-day Memorial Day holiday, seven people died and 314 others were injured in 772 crashes investigated by state police.

Pawlowski said the numbers cover only those crashes investigated by state police and do not include statistics on incidents to which other law-enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania responded.

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