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PennDOT, Safety Partners Urge Sober Driving through the Holiday Season


Pittsburgh, PA – The Allegheny County Safe Driving Communities including, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), AAA East Central, and Allegheny County Pretrial Services, Allegheny County Health Department, Pennsylvania Traffic Injury Prevention Project and Pennsylvania State Police partnered with six local high schools on a preventative peer-to-peer program highlighting the dangers of impaired driving through the holiday season.

Students decorated a DUI tree, honoring those who lost their lives in an impaired driving crash last year between November 21 and December 31 in Allegheny County. As the night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest drinking days of the year, there is typically a significant increase in impaired driving crashes surrounding the holiday.

Each tree ornament represented a statistic that occurred last year in Allegheny County. With 1,054 lights representing impaired crashes (a decrease from the year before), 15 gold bulbs representing impaired driving fatalities (decrease), 124 red bows representing impaired holiday crashes (increase) and two red bulbs representing holiday impaired driving fatalities (increase), the displays send students a powerful message before heading off on winter break.

Participating schools included Chartiers Valley, Keystone Oaks, Riverview, South Fayette, Steel Valley and West Allegheny.

Additionally, Chartiers Valley High School students took the tree decorating as an opportunity to honor local police and firefighters and thank them for their service with American flags they made in their construction and technology classes. Scott Township, Heidelberg Borough, Bridgeville Borough, and Collier Township police received flags with a blue line and the fire companies were given flags with an additional red line.

The safety partners have been conducting the DUI tree program since 2013 and will continue to bring impaired driving awareness to young drivers.

PennDOT reminds motorists that impaired driving crashes are 100 percent preventable and asks drivers to keep themselves, their families, and other motorists safe by designating a sober driver or not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Yasmeen Manyisha, 412-429-5044

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