DUI checkpoints in place on Wednesday, Nov. 21, ahead of Thanksgiving weekend
DOVER, DE (Nov. 19, 2018) — The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) has announced the kickoff of The Safe Family Holiday Campaign and the theme “It’s The Most Dangerous Time of the Year”, running through Tuesday, January 1, 2019. The awareness campaign is a reminder that there are increased dangers associated with holiday driving. Efforts are focused to reduce crashes and fatalities on Delaware roadways during the holiday season. In addition to the education component of the campaign, the annual Safe Family Holiday will have an ongoing enforcement period, which focuses on impaired driving, speed, pedestrian safety, occupant protection, and distracted driving during one of the busiest travel times of the year.
“Celebrations, inclement weather and undue stress that come along with the holiday season often make for a dangerous combination for drivers and pedestrians,” said Kimberly Chesser, OHS’ acting director. “In fact, in the past five years, there were 316 pedestrian crashes across the state in November – December alone. This is a busy time of year, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hazardous for travelers, which is why our office is once again bringing back ‘The Safe Family Holiday Campaign’ and reminding motorists of the increased dangers associated with holiday travel on Delaware roadways. We want everyone to enjoy the holiday season, but to also be responsible and get where they are going safely.”
The campaign will once again use a life-size snow globe and carolers—ubiquitous holiday favorites, but with a unique safety-messaging twist*— to rally Delawareans to be more responsible drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, and empower them to take steps to reduce holiday crashes and fatalities.
The snow globe and carolers will be featured at the following prominent community events and locations throughout the state, and will be joined by street teams that will encourage passersby to sign a holiday drive responsibility pledge and enter the larger-than-life inflated snow globes, where they’ll have a picture taken to commemorate their commitment to safe driving and walking:
- Saturday, Dec. 1, from noon to 5 P.M.: A Farmer’s Christmas at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover, Delaware
- Saturday, Dec. 8, from 4 P.M. to 8 P.M.: Winter WonderFEST2018 at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware
- Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.: Dover Mall in Dover, Delaware
- Saturday, Dec. 22, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.: Christiana Mall in Newark, Delaware
“The response to last year’s campaign was overwhelmingly positive, generating more than 1,000 pledges,” said Chesser. “We hope to have the same results if not more for this holiday season.”
In addition to these grassroots efforts, OHS will have three DUI checkpoints in place on Wednesday, Nov. 21, ahead of Thanksgiving weekend. Checkpoints will be conducted from 10 P.M. – 2 A.M. at the following locations:
- Kirkwood Highway in Wilmington, Delaware
- South State Street in Dover, Delaware
- US Route 113 in Lincoln, Delaware
“Thanksgiving Eve is one of the most dangerous nights of the year with a high number of impaired crashes,” adds Chesser. “This is why we are taking precautions to ensure the safety of our Delawareans. Plan ahead and have a designated driver or take advantage of one of the many ridesharing programs available.”
Recent statistics emphasize why OHS is focusing on four core areas of travel safety during The Most Dangerous Time of the Year campaign.
- DUIs: So far in 2018, the state of Delaware has seen 3,470 arrests and 18 fatalities related to impaired driving.
- Speeding: Last year (2017) Delaware had 27 fatalities related to speed.
- Pedestrians: Over the past 5 years, 147 pedestrians have been killed in traffic crashes; in 2017, crashes caused the death of 33 pedestrians in Delaware.
- Distracted driving and failure to use seatbelts: Last year (2017) inattentive driving caused the majority of personal injury and property damage crashes in Delaware and 52% of fatalities were unbuckled. And from 2013-2017, Delaware had 150 unrestrained crashes in November – December.
For more information, please visit ohs.delaware.gov, or visit us on Facebook (@highwaysafetyde), Twitter (@highwaysafetyDE) and Instagram (highwaysafetyde).
*Snowglobe depicted in posters, print ads, billboards, theater ads, retail floor displays, social media posts, website pages and more will display the usual festive holiday settings, but with a vehicle accident disrupting the “peace and joy” of the season. With an overriding message of “Don’t let a crash shake things up this holiday season,” specific messages will address everything from avoiding DUIs and putting the phone away while driving, to slowing down, buckling up and crossing at crosswalks.
*Carolers will be equipped with lyrics to traditional holiday favorites, reinforcing The Most Dangerous Time of the Year messaging. These carols will be heard live as they travel with the inflatable snow globes, as well as on the radio during the campaign period.
About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at ArriveAliveDE.com.