Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), and local police urge travelers across the state to designate a sober driver and buckle their seat belts through the Independence Day holiday weekend. Partnerships throughout the state look to decrease alcohol and drug-related crashes and fatalities, as well as aggressive driving behavior.
"PennDOT is working closely with our partners in law enforcement to reduce impaired driving and raise safety awareness this holiday," Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. "Though Independence Day is a time for celebration, we urge Pennsylvanians to designate a sober driver and wear their seat belt throughout the coming weekend, and throughout the year."
According to PennDOT data, last year there were 293 alcohol-related crashes resulting in eight fatalities from Friday, July 1, to Sunday, July 10. This marked a decrease from 2015, when there were 330 alcohol-related crashes and 11 fatalities from Friday, June 26, through Sunday, July 5, 2015. Also, during the holiday period last year, there were 101 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in those crashes, compared to 99 drug-related crashes and four fatalities in 2015.
Police this year will focus their enforcement efforts on distracted driving, aggressive driving, speeding, and impaired driving during the holiday period. PennDOT representatives will also hold media and community outreach events across the state.
"We urge motorists to buckle up and use caution when traveling over the holiday," said State Police Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker. "Troopers will actively enforce traffic and DUI laws, so please obey the speed limit and don't get behind the wheel impaired. To ensure motorists get to their destinations safely, remember to keep distractions to a minimum while driving."
As part of this high-visibility impaired-driving enforcement effort, the Pennsylvania State Police and local law enforcement will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols. This effort is funded through PennDOT's statewide distribution of more than $4.7 million from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The public can join the conversation on social media by using #drivesober and #NoDUIJuly. Visit www.penndot.gov/safety for more information on impaired driving and PennDOT's other traffic-safety initiatives.
For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit www.psp.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ashley Schoch, PennDOT, 717-783-8800; Ryan Tarkowski, State Police, 717-783-5556
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