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OHS Launches 14th Annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign Thanksgiving Week

Posted On: Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Categories: News Office of Highway Safety Safety and Homeland Security

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Enforcement focus is on DUI, Aggressive Driving, and Seat Belts.

Dover – Once again thousands of Delawareans will be hitting the road to visit family and friends and even do some after Thanksgiving shopping.  The Office of Highway Safety wants to remind motorists as they travel this holiday season to buckle up, practice patience behind the wheel, and if partaking in some holiday ‘spirits’ use a designated driver because Delaware law enforcement will be on high alert to make sure you arrive safely to your destination.

Tuesday November 20th will begin the Delaware Office of Highway Safety’s 14th annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign.  Safe Family Holiday enforcement activities over the next six weeks will include 22 law enforcement agencies statewide conducting overtime patrols focusing on aggressive & impaired driving, and seat belt use.

Overtime aggressive driving enforcement will run November 20th through December 1st and seat belt enforcement begins December 2nd and runs through December 15th.  The DUI saturation patrols will begin November 21st and will run through the entire holiday season and will supplement already scheduled Checkpoint Strikeforce DUI checkpoints.

There are three DUI checkpoints scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday as follows:

Wednesday Nov. 21st Wilmington (New Castle County DUI Task Force)- Checkpoint

Friday Nov. 23rd     Rehoboth Beach (DSP)- Checkpoint

Saturday Nov. 24th Newark (DSP)- Checkpoint

Since January 1st of this year, 100 people have lost their lives on Delaware roadways in 95 fatal traffic crashes, compared to 92 people killed in 87 fatal traffic crashes this time last year.  Aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, running stop signs, and not granting right of way, have contributed to 34% of the fatal traffic crashes so far this year. To date alcohol consumption has been involved in 38% of the traffic deaths, and 33% of vehicle occupant fatalities were individuals not wearing their seat belts.

Over the last decade, several public awareness activities have become Safe Family Holiday traditions including the OHS “Mocktail” party and the DUI Tree project.  “Mocktails” are non-alcoholic cocktail parties, where safety information, responsible party hosting tips, and samples of “smart” party foods will be provided for employees.  OHS first Mocktail event this holiday season was held at State Farm Insurance in Lewes and more will be held with Seiberlich Trane, AI Dupont Hospital, Christiana Hospital, Beebe Medical Center, and Dover Downs.

The DUI Tree memorializes alcohol-related deaths and injuries during the campaign period by placing colored light bulbs on the tree to represent each victim.  There are four DUI Trees and this year they will have a permanent home with some of the highway safety corporate partners.  The trees will be set up the week of Thanksgiving at Kent General Hospital in Dover, Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, and A.I. DuPont Hospital in Wilmington.  New this year OHS has created a virtual DUI Tree for the public at www.DUIRealTime.com/Safe-Holidays. Last year, 2 people were killed and 27 were injured in alcohol-related crashes in Delaware during the holiday season.

The Safe Family Holiday Campaign, which runs from Thanksgiving Eve to New Year’s Day, in conjunction with the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign, is OHS’ major traffic safety initiative for the holiday season.  It includes a combination of high visibility enforcement, public awareness activities, and media messaging aimed at stopping impaired and other dangerous drivers.

For more information on these or any of our other Safe Family Holiday campaign efforts follow us on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe, visit our website for updates at www.ohs.delaware.gov, www.DUIRealTime.com/Safe-Holidays or Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE.

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