DUI and seat belt patrols on the rise in

The holidays are a time when many people die needlessly in car accidents throughout the state. Ice-slicked road conditions combined with intoxicated drivers leaving holiday parties can be a deadly combination. The  Office of Highway Safety started its yearly Safe Family Holiday Campaign just before Thanksgiving and plans to continue strict seat belt enforcement and DUI prevention efforts throughout the state.

“Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday party season with family get-togethers and holiday work parties and as a result we tend to see an increase in crashes and injuries on our roadways,” said Jana Simpler, director of the  Office of Highway Safety. “Think twice about hitting  roadways this holiday season unbelted, impaired or driving aggressively. Our law enforcement partners will be patrolling and you will be stopped for failing to obey ‘s traffic laws.”

The state’s 29 law enforcement agencies will conduct over 1,000 drunk driving saturation patrols, 133 aggressive driving patrols, 114 seatbelt use patrols, and two seatbelt checkpoints during this six-week holiday season.

About 92 people have died on  roadways this year, which is up from 88 people killed on  roads in 2010. Authorities hope that the combination of seatbelt patrols and DUI enforcement will ensure that this year’s death total doesn’t climb any higher.

“Properly wearing your seat belt can mean the difference between surviving a crash and becoming a statistic,” said Lewis Schiliro, secretary for  Safety and Homeland Security. “This holiday season we’re asking everyone to be more conscientious and buckle up every trip, every time.”

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