The holiday season is known for being merry and bright, but it is also known for being a dangerous season when it comes to speeding and impaired driving. That is why law enforcement agencies from across the state are teaming up to promote Safe Family Travel.
The campaign started the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and will continue through New Year’s Day. During the campaign, law enforcement agencies from across the state will conduct sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols designed to discourage impaired driving and promote seat belt use.
The campaign is funded with grants provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).
Millions will hit the nation’s roads, eager to spend time with family and friends this holiday season. It is one of the busiest travel times of the year. With more people on the roadways, there is a greater potential for crashes.
“As the holiday season approaches and families gather to celebrate, let’s remember to make safety our top priority on the roads,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “Together, we can ensure that everyone arrives at their destinations safely and in time to cherish these special moments.”
NHTSA data shows that nationwide, 13,384 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involved alcohol-impaired drivers in 2021. This represented 31% of all traffic fatalities in the United States for the year, and a 14.2% increase from 2020.
As holiday parties increase during this festive season, do not contribute to these senseless deaths by driving drunk.
“Driving is a privilege, not a right,” reminds Jim Bryan, ICJI Traffic Safety Director. “We want our community to have a joy-filled holiday season, but we want everyone to do so responsibly, and that means refraining from drinking and driving.”
Officers will be on high alert through the holiday season. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead, so they can get home safely from their holiday events by designating a sober driver or by using public transportation or a ride service.
It is also important to prioritize seat belt safety throughout the holiday season. Surviving your holiday drive this year — and making it to the next holiday season— can be as simple as buckling up. In the last decade, seat belts saved the lives of more than 100,000 people in the United States.
Drivers are also encouraged to put away distractions and follow posted speed limits. They should also check road conditions before each trip so they can leave with plenty of time to reach their destination safely.
Motorists are encouraged to call 911 if they encounter an impaired or unsafe driver on the road.