OHS Launches 15th Annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign Thanksgiving Week

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.

Wednesday November 27th will begin the Delaware Office of Highway Safety’s 15th annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign.  Safe Family Holiday enforcement activities over the next six weeks will include 28 local law enforcement agencies statewide & Delaware State Police conducting overtime patrols focusing on aggressive & impaired driving, and seat belt use.

Overtime aggressive driving enforcement will run November 26th– December 7th, and then again from December 19th-28th.  Seat belt enforcement begins December 11th and runs through December 19th.  The DUI saturation patrols will begin November 27th and will run through the entire holiday season and will supplement already scheduled Checkpoint Strikeforce DUI checkpoints.

There is one DUI checkpoint scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday as follows:

  •  Wednesday Nov. 27th   Wilmington (New Castle County DUI Task Force)- Checkpoint

Since January 1st of this year, 91 people have lost their lives on Delaware roadways in 87 fatal traffic crashes, compared to 103 people killed in 98 fatal traffic crashes this time last year.  Aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, running stop signs, and not granting right of way, have contributed to 32% of the fatal traffic crashes so far this year. To date alcohol consumption has been involved in 34% of the traffic deaths, and 49% 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.  Get your Mocktail party guide online at http://ohs.delaware.gov/pdfs/2013/mocktail/Safe-Sober_MocktailUpdate_HolidaySeason.pdf.

The DUI Tree memorializes those who were injured or killed in an alcohol-related crash during the campaign period by placing colored light bulbs on the tree to represent each victim.  Several OHS corporate partners have volunteered to set up and display the trees at their locations to remind employees to be safe this holiday season.  OHS has created a virtual DUI Tree for the public at www.DUIRealTime.com/Safe-Holidays. Last year, 3 people were killed and 54 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.