As families take to the roads this holiday season, law enforcement is reminding drivers extra patrols will be cracking down on impaired driving and seat belt violations to increase safety on the state’s streets and highways.
“Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel periods of the year,” said Lieutenant Tony Casto, Fort Wayne District Commander. “Officers will be working overtime hours as part of a comprehensive effort to curb impaired and dangerous driving.”
Area law enforcement agencies are working in tandem on saturation patrols and OWI checkpoints.
“If you see someone driving in a manner you suspect of being impaired, there is a high probability you are right,” said Casto. “Call 911 immediately and report the location, description, and direction the vehicle is traveling. This will help officers take action necessary to prevent a possible tragedy.”
“Anyone found to be driving impaired will be arrested,” Casto stated. “Also, occupants not using seat belts or who are not properly restrained will be cited and given a ticket.”
In November 2013, there were 490 alcohol-related crashes across Indiana resulting in 224 injuries and 13 fatalities. A total of 735 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence and 9,504 seat belt citations were issued to drivers and passengers who were not properly restrained.
“Wearing your seat belt can save your life,” Casto added. “In Indiana, nearly 50 percent of fatalities in passenger car accidents are due to occupants who did not buckle up.”
Officers also noted that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 8 and 15. For families with young children, it’s important to have a properly installed child safety seat or booster seat for each child. Parents can visit childseat.in.gov for a list of locations and a toll-free phone number to speak with experts about the proper installation of child safety seats.
Law enforcement agencies from across the state, including Troopers from the Indiana State Police are jointly participating in this holiday enforcement effort which runs from November 14-30.