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Friday, November 20, 2009

PennDOT Launches Operation Safe Holiday in Time for Thanksgiving Travel

Harrisburg – With millions of motorists planning to travel for Thanksgiving, PennDOT today kicked off its Operation Safe Holiday campaign. Pennsylvania State Police and hundreds of municipal police departments will work with PennDOT to increase traffic safety enforcement from now until the New Year’s holiday weekend.

“This weekend is the start of one of the busiest times of year on our highways,” said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. “I urge all motorists to do their part by buckling up, avoiding aggressive and impaired driving, and eliminating distractions while behind the wheel. Following these simple tips will help to ensure a safe holiday for everyone.”

As part of Operation Safe Holiday, police will use sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols to focus on impaired, aggressive and unbuckled motorists. More than 250 drivers were cited for driving under the influence during Operation Safe Holiday enforcement last year.

According to PennDOT, the Thanksgiving holiday period resulted in the most crashes of any holiday in 2008. There were more than 5,300 crashes and 53 fatalities during that span, which includes the weekends before and after the holiday.

To increase safety on long trips, PennDOT encourages motorists to make sure they are well-rested and alert. It is also a good idea to rotate drivers and take frequent breaks.

PennDOT reminds motorists that weather and road conditions can deteriorate quickly at this time of year. Motorists should always check the weather forecast before traveling and make sure their vehicle is equipped with a winter emergency kit.

Information on travel delays, road conditions and weather forecasts is also available by calling 511 from a landline or cell phone, or logging onto before you leave home.

For more information on Operation Safe Holiday, visit

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