King of Prussia, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania State Police, and AAA Mid-Atlantic held an event today at Dilworth Park’s Winter Garden in Philadelphia to outline regional impaired driving safety efforts during “Operation Safe Holiday,” a statewide campaign to promote safe transportation practices throughout the holiday season.
“The holiday season should be about spending time with family and friends,” says PennDOT District 6 Executive Kenneth M. McClain, P.E. “We do not want your family and friends to see you or others get hurt, or worse killed, because you decided to get behind the wheel impaired.”
PennDOT data indicates that the winter holiday season continues to lead in percentage of traffic crashes. In the Philadelphia region during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year travel periods, from Wednesday. November 21, 2018 through Tuesday, January 1, 2019, there were 333 impaired driver related crashes, including six fatal crashes.
In Philadelphia, during last year’s holiday season, there were 71 impaired crashes, with four involving a pedestrian. The City of Philadelphia highlighted the importance of reducing traffic crashes in Philadelphia and continuing to move towards Vision Zero’s goal of zero traffic deaths by 2030.
“We know the holidays bring more celebrations, events, and nights out in the city. We also know that each year, this season results in more traffic crashes than other times of the year” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “We want everyone to be safe. It’s not worth putting your life and the lives of others at risk.”
PennDOT encourages people to plan before heading out for holiday festivities by doing the following:
• If you decide to drink, make sure you designate a sober driver or arrange for alternate transportation;
• Decide to be the designated sober driver, and do not let your friends drive impaired;
• If you have been drinking and do not have a designated driver, call a taxi, use a ride-share service, or mass transit;
• If you are hosting a party, never allow your guests to leave unless they are going home with a sober driver;
• Always wear your seatbelt, whether you are the passenger or a designated sober driver; and
• Remember traffic could be increased because of the holidays. Stay calm, slow down and watch for pedestrians always.
The Pennsylvania State Police and hundreds of municipal police departments statewide will participate in the “Operation Safe Holiday” campaign this year to increase traffic safety enforcement through the New Year’s holiday. Police departments are also currently conducting “Click It or Ticket” enforcements through December 8, to make sure motorists and passengers are buckling up.
For more information on “Operation Safe Holiday,” “Click It or Ticket,” and PennDOT’s other safety initiatives, visit www.PennDOT.gov/safety.
Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties at www.penndot.gov/District6.
Follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/511PAPhilly and like the department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/phillypenndot and Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennsylvaniadot.
MEDIA CONTACT: Robyn Briggs, 610-205-6799
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