PennDOT and police partner on enforcement to make holiday travel safer

PennDOT, the Pennsylvania State Police and local policestatewideare teaming for “Operation Safe Holiday,” an enforcement initiativefocusing onseat-belt use and impaired-driving that aims to reduce crashes and traffic

fatalities this holiday season.

The operation begins with statewide Click It or Ticket seat-beltenforcementthat runs from Nov. 22-Dec. 1. Law enforcement agencies will also conductsobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols onThanksgiving Eve, Nov. 27, and from Dec. 1 through the New Year’s holidaytocrack down on drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.

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“Unfortunately, holiday crash totals have continued to trend upward thisyear,”PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. “Though there was a decrease inDecember data totals, Thanksgiving continues to be one of the mostdangerousweekends for motorists. We continue to urge drivers to buckle up and avoiddriving impaired on Pennsylvania’s roadways.”

According to PennDOT data, the holiday season continues to be the leadingtimeperiod for traffic crashes. The Thanksgiving holiday period, including theweekends before and after the holiday as well as the day itself,experiencedthe highest number of crashes and fatalities of any major holiday seasonlastyear. A total of 4,328 crashes and 53 fatalities occurred statewide duringtheThanksgiving period, while the Christmas and New Year’s travel periods sawacombined 1,640 crashes and 19 fatalities.

Additionally, during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays,861of the statewide crashes involved a driver impaired by drugs or alcohol,with31 fatalities in those crashes. In that same time period there were 758crasheswith unbuckled occupants, with 36 fatalities in those crashes.

PennDOT urges travelers to never drive impaired and always buckle up.

Driversshould also avoid distractions, rotate drivers if possible and takefrequentbreaks.

Motorists should allow extra time for travel and expect to encountertrafficdelays. As weather and road conditions can worsen quickly at this time ofyear,motorists should always check the forecast for their entire route and makesuretheir vehicle is equipped with a winter emergency kit and tires with goodtraction.

Weather and travel information for more than 2,900 miles of state roads isavailable by calling 511 or visiting www.511pa.com before leaving home.

You can find PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews and Facebookat www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation.