Campaigns reinforce increased dangers associated with holiday driving during one of the busiest travel times of the year and the importance of safe driving behaviors
DOVER, Del. (Nov. 26, 2019) — The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) has announced the launch of its new Safe Family Holiday Campaign with a kick-off event on Monday, November 25. The campaign, which runs through Wednesday, January 1, 2020, reinforces the importance of safe driving habits during one of the busiest travel times of the year. Through a combination of tactics – high visibility enforcement, traditional media, social media, and grassroots efforts partnering with restaurants, businesses, and other traffic safety partners – OHS will educate Delawareans about the increased dangers associated with holiday driving to reduce crashes and fatalities on Delaware roadways during the holiday season.
“Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is one of the most dangerous periods on Delaware roadways with drivers, passengers, and pedestrians being seriously or fatally injured in crashes,” said Director Kim Chesser, OHS. “Our Safe Family Holiday campaign is a creative awareness, educational, and enforcement campaign that reminds Delawareans of what makes holiday travel so dangerous. Most importantly, it also encourages everyone to drive sober, walk smart, slow down, buckle up and put the phone down. OHS, along with our traffic safety partners, want to bring everyone home safe this holiday season.”
In order to view yesterday’s press event and kick-off for the Safe Family Holiday campaign and SoberLift program launch, please click below:
Safe Family Holiday Statewide Events
Carolers will be on-site at the following prominent community events and locations throughout the state, performing their newest round of holiday favorites with a unique safety-messaging twist. They will be joined by street teams that will encourage those in attendance to pledge responsible driving during the holidays.
- Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Winter WonderFEST2019 in Milton, Delaware
- Sunday, Dec. 8 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Christmas In Smyrna at the Smyrna Opera House in Smyrna, Delaware
- Monday, Dec. 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Caroling on the Circle in Georgetown, Delaware
- Saturday, Dec. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Christiana Mall in Newark, Delaware
- Saturday, Dec. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Dover Mall in Dover, Delaware
Thanksgiving 2019 SoberLift Program – Statewide
In addition to Safe Family Holiday, OHS is pleased to announce its reactivation of the SoberLift program, in partnership with Lyft®, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, statewide. The program will begin on Wednesday, November 27, at 3 p.m. and run through Sunday, December 1, at 2 a.m., and will provide free Lyft® vouchers* (maximum value of $15) for individuals who want a safe ride during that period. To participate in the program, individuals need to text “SOBERLIFT” to 99000 to redeem the discount code.
Campaign sponsors include: Breakthru Beverage DE, Captain Morgan, Two Stones, Buffalo Wild Wings, Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen, First State Brew Bus, Kelly’s Logan House, Washington Street Ale House/Oyster House, Wilmington Blue Rocks, Delaware Department of Insurance, Dewey Business Partnership, Bluecoast Seafood and Grill Rehoboth, The Starboard, Liquid Alchemy Brewing, and Aloysius Butler & Clark (AB&C).
“Thanksgiving Eve is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, thus making it one of the most dangerous nights,” adds Chesser. “We want to make sure that everyone arrives alive to their Thanksgiving and post-Thanksgiving celebrations. This is why we are reactivating SoberLift statewide and strongly urge those out celebrating to plan ahead and take advantage of this program.”
Thanksgiving Eve DUI Checkpoint
The Office of Highway Safety is coordinating the 2019 Thanksgiving Eve Checkpoint Strikeforce in each county statewide on November 27, from 10 PM to November 28, at 2 AM. The initiative will reinforce the Safe Family Holiday enforcement and educational campaigns to keep impaired drivers off our roads. Delaware State Police and local law enforcement will be conducting DUI checkpoints in all three counties in the following locations:
- New Castle County – RT 72 in Newark
- Kent County – South State Street in Dover
- Sussex County – SR 1 in Rehoboth Beach
Safe Family Holiday Enforcements
The annual Safe Family Holiday enforcement period will be ongoing throughout the state from November 25 to January 1 with Delaware State Police and local law enforcement agencies focusing on impaired driving, speed, pedestrian safety, occupant protection, and distracted driving.
Recent statistics emphasize why OHS is focusing on these core areas of travel safety during this campaign.
- DUIs: From January 1 to November 21, 2019, the state of Delaware has seen 3,722 arrests and 18 fatalities related to impaired driving.
- Speeding: Last year (2018) Delaware had 34 fatalities related to speed.
- Pedestrians: Over the past 5 years, 145 pedestrians have been killed in traffic crashes; in 2018, 24 pedestrians were killed in crashes on Delaware roadways.
- Failure to use seatbelts: Last year (2018) 53% of fatalities were unbuckled.
*The number of daily codes, available between 4 p.m. and 2 a.m., will be limited.
You can follow the Delaware Office of Highway Safety by clicking on:
Contact: Cynthia Cavett, Marketing Specialist II & Public Information Officer, Office of Highway Safety | (302) 744-2743 or Cynthia.Cavett@Delaware.Gov.
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.