HARRISBURG, Pa., June 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania State Police and local police are partnering to help decrease alcohol and drug- related crashes and fatalities, as well as aggressive driving behavior, through the Independence Day holiday weekend.
"Though Independence Day is a time for celebration, we urge Pennsylvanians to plan ahead and designate a sober driver throughout the holiday weekend," PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. "Drivers should also avoid aggressive driving behavior and always wear your seat belt so that we all get to our destinations safety and spend time with family and friends."
According to PennDOT data, last year there were 330 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 11 fatalities from Friday, June 26, to Sunday, July 5. This marked an increase from 2014, when there were 326 alcohol-related crashes and 11 fatalities from Friday June 27th through Sunday July 6, 2014. Also, during the holiday period last year, there were 99 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in those crashes, an increase from 85 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in 2014.
Police this year will focus their enforcement efforts on speeders, aggressive drivers, seat-belt use and those who drink and drive during the holiday period.
"We urge motorists to buckle up and use caution when traveling over the holiday," said State Police Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker. "Troopers will be on the lookout for traffic violations and impaired drivers, so please obey the speed limit and don't get behind the wheel impaired. To ensure motorists get to their destinations safely, remember to keep distractions to a minimum while driving."
As part of this high-visibility impaired-driving enforcement effort, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols. This effort is funded through PennDOT's statewide distribution of more than $4.7 million in federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The public can join the conversation on social media by using #drivesober and #designateddriver.
Visit www.penndot.gov/safety for more information on impaired driving and PennDOT's other traffic-safety initiatives.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ashley Schoch, PennDOT, 717-783-8800; Adam Reed, State Police, 717-783-5556
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/penndot-state-police-urge-drivers-to-plan-ahead-designate-a-sober-driver-for-independence-day-holiday-300292755.html
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; Pennsylvania State Police