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PennDOT, Safety Partners Remind Motorists to Drive Sober This Christmas, New Year’s Holiday Season

12/07/2016

​Oil City, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Northwest Regional Highway Safety Network, the Pennsylvania DUI Association, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Sharon Police Department are urging motorists to make safe decisions while traveling this holiday season.

The organizations today held a press conference commemorating the DUI Moving Memorial trailer stopping at Penn State Shenango in Sharon.
The traveling memorial features the names of thousands of victims of DUI crashes in Pennsylvania. It provides a serene setting for the family and friends to honor their loved ones, as well as a reminder to all visitors that there are consequences when a motorist drives impaired.
According to PennDOT data, there were 4,985 crashes and 46 fatalities in Pennsylvania during the 2015 Christmas and New Year’s holiday season (December 18, 2015 to January 11, 2016). Of those, 685 or 14 percent of crashes involved impaired drivers, which resulted in 18 fatalities. 
In PennDOT’s six-county northwest region, there were 339 crashes, resulting in three fatalities during the 2015 Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. Of those crashes, 37 or 11 percent involved impaired drivers, which resulted in one fatality.
To help deter unsafe driving, law enforcement agencies statewide will participate in enforcement campaigns as part of “Operation Safe Holiday,” which runs through December 31. Officers will be on the lookout for impaired and/or aggressive drivers, as well as motorists and passengers not following the seat belt regulations. 
PennDOT encourages residents and visitors to keep their holiday celebrations safe for themselves and others by planning for a designated driver or alternate transportation before the party starts. Motorists are also reminded that along with alcohol, driving can be impaired by illegal and legal drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medications.  
Smart phone users can download the free SaferRide app for Andriod or Apple phones. The program is equipped to order a taxi, call a friend, and determine the user’s current location.
For more safe driving tips, visit www.penndot.gov/safety and click on Traffic Safety & Driver Topics.
Follow local PennDOT information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAErie.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jill Harry, 814-678-5035
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Editor’s Note Below are statistics for crashes in Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties during the 2015 Christmas and New Year’s season (December 18, 2015 to January 11, 2016). One of the Erie County crash fatalities involved an impaired driver.
 
 
 
All crashes
Total fatalities
Impaired driver crashes
Impaired driver crash fatalities
Crawford
55
0
7
0
Erie
171
2
19
1
Forest
4
0
0
0
Mercer
58
1
6
0
Venango
26
0
2
0
Warren
25
0
2
0
District total
339
3
37
1