Don’t Push Your Luck This St. Patrick’s Day – Designate a Sober Driver

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Cynthia Cavett, Delaware Office of Highway Safety, (302) 744-2743
Kellie Boulware, MDOT MVA, 410-762-5188
Brandy Brubaker, Virginia DMV, 804-367-6834

 

Joint Effort Targets Impaired Drivers Along US 13 and US 113 in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia

 

Dover, DE (March 15, 2019) – The Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA), law enforcement and transportation officials from Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, have partnered for the second year to save lives on our roadways during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Law enforcement from 36 agencies across the three states will team up for a High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) effort on US 13 and US 113 throughout the Delmarva Peninsula.

In 2017, there were 39 DUI-related fatal crashes in the state of Delaware and 3,997 DUI arrests. In 2018, there were two DUI-related fatalities during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Over the last five years, a total of 228 impaired driving arrests occurred for the same holiday period.

“All of us here at the Delaware Office of Highway Safety would like to thank our partner agencies for working together to have a greater impact on reducing impaired driving. It is through coordinated efforts like this along US 13 and US 113, that we can increase awareness and safety for all motorists on our roads,” said Richard Klepner, Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Impaired Driving Program Manager. Delaware motorists can text “saferide” to 99000 for a link to download Lyft and Uber apps or get a list of local companies providing safe rides. The state of Maryland is conducting multiple enforcements on US 13 where there were 138 crashes from 2013 – 2016 resulting from alcohol and/or drug impairment. During last year’s effort participating agencies in Maryland issued 125 citations, including 45 for speeding, and made four impaired driving arrests.

“This effort is a great example of state and local law enforcement agencies joining forces to save lives on our roadways,” said Chrissy Nizer, Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) Administrator.

In Virginia, there were 278 alcohol-related fatalities in 2018, which is 34 percent of overall traffic deaths. The chance of being in an alcohol-related crash in Virginia is one-in-six over the course of a lifetime.

“Reducing and ultimately eliminating drunk driving will go a long way toward reaching our goal of zero deaths on Virginia roadways,” said Virginia DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Law enforcement agencies partnering across state lines sends a strong message to drivers — we are committed to saving lives and vow to work together to make our roadways safer for everyone.”

Saturation patrols will run throughout the US 13 and US 113 corridors in the three states with law enforcement on the lookout for impaired drivers. US 13 is comprised of 289 total miles – 137 in Virginia; 103 in Delaware; and 49 in Maryland. It houses approximately 150 establishments with liquor licenses along its length in Maryland alone.

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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.

 

Delaware Office of Highway Safety logo


Delaware Office of Highway Safety Kicks Off The Safe Family Holiday Campaign

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

    police officer working DUI checkpoint in Dover Delaware
    Police Officer working a Dover, Delaware DUI Checkpoint

“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.”

Statistics

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. 

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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.


Traffic Safety News – Click It or Ticket

Would you ever ride a roller coaster without the harness? Would you let your friends or family? Of course not! Did you know that when you ride in a motor vehicle without a seat belt you are taking a similar risk? One you can’t afford. Once again, Delaware is joining law enforcement agencies nationwide to enforce seat belt laws during the annual Click It or Ticket campaign.

What you need to know
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the summer travel season, which makes it the perfect time to remind everyone why seat belt use is required by law. It saves lives!
Consider these facts about unrestrained crashes in the First State from 2012-2014:

  • Spring months typically have the highest number of unrestrained crashes.
  • Males account for 59% of the people killed in these crashes.
  • There were 89 unrestrained fatalities over the 3 year period; 64 were drivers and 25 were passengers.
  • 32% of those unrestrained were also under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What you can do
Next time you head out on the road, make sure you and everyone in your vehicle are buckled up. Don’t just do it to avoid a ticket, do it so you arrive at your destination safely! Since it’s our job to help educate Delaware motorists, we’re taking Click It or Ticket seriously.

  • Everyone in the vehicle, including backseat passengers, must wear seat belts properly – shoulder belt placed across the chest with the lap belt low across the hips.
  • Children must be properly restrained in a federally approved child safety seat appropriate for the child’s age, weight and height up to 8 years of age or 65 lbs,  whichever comes first.
  • And if you have tweens, don’t negotiate on seat belt use. Life as a parent is full of compromises, but seat belt safety for our tweens is not up for negotiation.

For any seat belt violation, the driver will receive a $83.50 ticket.  Consider yourself warned: If police catch you not wearing your seat belt while driving, you will get a ticket. No excuses, no warnings. We’re hoping you’ll get the message and buckle up every trip, every time.

Buckle Up.  Arrive Alive DE.


Traffic Safety News – Speed Thrills But It Also Kills

You would never get into a roller coaster without putting on a seat belt, so why would you get into a car without wearing one? OHS wants to remind everyone that speed thrills but it also kills.

What you need to know

Did you know that a crash at just 40 mph has the same impact as falling from a six-story building? Here are some facts that you need to know:

  • 124 people lost their lives on Delaware roadways in 2014.
  • Speed was the primary contributing factor in almost 40% of these fatal car crashes.
  • Most speed related crashes occurred on roads that had a 50 mph speed limit.

What you can do

Speed and curves are a thrilling combination on a roller coaster. But in a car, they are a deadly combination, especially if you’re not wearing a seat belt. To keep yourself and the other passengers in your vehicle safe, take the following safety precautions:

  • Buckle up. Just like when you board a roller coaster, it doesn’t matter if you are in the front seat or the back seat, everyone should be buckled safely before the vehicle moves.
  • Be alert. A roller coaster is designed to travel safely on a carefully engineered track. Motor vehicles are controlled by the operator who must watch for signs and then obey those signs.

Speeding greatly reduces the driver’s ability to slow a vehicle when necessary or to steer safely around an unexpected curve, another vehicle or hazardous object in the roadway. There is a reason for posted speed limits. They are designed to protect everyone: drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

And if you need another caution sign, Delaware law enforcement officers are on the lookout to slow down speeding drivers and ensure all motorists are buckled up. Don’t take the risk. Speed thrills but it also kills.

Slow Down. Buckle Up. Arrive Alive DE.


Traffic Safety News – Super Bowl XLIX

The Super Bowl is America’s most watched national sporting event. On Super Bowl Sunday, February 1, there will be lots of game day socializing that may include drinking. OHS and law enforcement officials are urging football fans to choose sides now: drinking OR driving.

What you need to know

Did you know last year nearly half of all traffic crashes in Delaware were caused by impaired drivers?   The risk of injury or death is simply too high. Don’t think it could happen to you? Consider these facts about DUI in the first state:

  • Nearly 4,000 people were arrested for Driving Under the Influence in 2014.
  • 23% of DUI arrests occurred between 9 PM and 12 AM. And, a staggering 44% were between 12 AM and 4 AM.
  • 3 out of every 4 drivers arrested for DUI were male.
  • 73% of the people arrested registered a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .13 or higher, well above the legal limit of .08.

What you can do

Drunk driving is completely preventable. All it takes is a little planning. Which side will you choose? Pick your game plan and stick with it!

  • Drinking: For those who plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it’s a friend, relative, taxi, or public transportation.
  • Driving: For those who plan to drive, refrain from any alcohol. Instead, enjoy the game with food and non-alcoholic drinks. Being a sober, designated driver is a key role on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life.

If you plan on drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, designate a sober driver to get you home safely. Drink or drive but never do both.

 

Drive Sober. Arrive Alive DE.