OHS Launches 14th 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.

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.


‘Are You That Guy?’ Aggressive Driving Enforcement Set

Dover – The Office of Highway Safety has coordinated another wave of overtime Aggressive Driving enforcement and is set to conduct enforcement from October 23rd to November 3rd.  Law enforcement agencies participating in the enforcement include Delaware State Police in all three counties, along with the Georgetown, Milford, Newark, New Castle County, Seaford, and Wilmington police departments.  Currently in 2012, 32 of the 83 fatal crashes (39%) have been attributed to aggressive driving behaviors.

Police are being asked to focus on the top four aggressive driving violations in the State of Delaware with the primary focus on drivers who fail to grant the right of way to other drivers.  Failure to grant the right of way violations include drivers who turn left in front of another vehicle, pull out in front of other vehicles at stop signs and fail to merge safely.  It is also the primary contributing factor in aggressive driving related fatal and injury crashes.

Motorists can be charged with aggressive driving is when an officer observes a driver committing three or more traffic violations in a single incident such as speeding, failing to yield right of way, tailgating, making improper lane changes, running red lights or stop signs.   Drivers cited for aggressive driving will get 6 points on their licenses and fines between $100 and $300.   They are also required to pay an additional $100 and complete an 8 hour behavior modification/attitudinal driving course within 90 days after the conviction for aggressive driving. Failure to attend the course will result in suspension of the individuals driving privilege.

To learn more about aggressive driving and find out if you are ‘that guy’ take the quiz here www.AggressivedrivingDE.com. For more information on Respect The Sign campaign or any of the other OHS campaigns visit www.ohs.delaware.gov, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE or follow us on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe.


Traffic Safety News – Motorcycle Safety “Share the Road”

Ever experienced a close call?  Perhaps someone ran a red light or made an improper turn in front of your vehicle.  Ever had someone ride too close to your bumper?  What if you did not have the safety of a seat belt, air bag, and crumple zones when these aggressive driving behaviors happen around you.  Now imagine the risks that motorcyclists take, even when wearing their full complement of protective gear.

What you need to know

  • To date, there have been 10 motorcycle fatalities (18% of the total fatalities).
  • This year, to date, 8 of the 10 motorcyclists killed were wearing helmets.
  • The average age of the person killed on in a motorcycle crash is 46.

What you can do

OHS would like to remind you that safe driving behaviors are the same whether you are driving a car, truck, or motorcycle:

  • Always look twice before turning into traffic.
  • Be vigilant when changing lanes.
  • Be aware of blind spots.
  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
  • Always follow the posted speed limits.
  • Use proper lane position.
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Wear all appropriate safety gear – Seat belts for motorists and proper riding gear for motorcyclists.
  • For all who share the road, if you see someone who is driving or riding in an unsafe manner, pull over out of the way if possible, and call 911.

Tell us what you think about traffic safety in Delaware by taking part in our annual survey:   https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/OHSDriverBehaviorSurvey

Share the Road.  Arrive Alive DE.

This message is being sent to you the Office of Highway Safety, who asks you to drive safely at all times.  For more information on this and other traffic safety programs, go to www.ohs.delaware.gov.


Week 1 Results of ‘Are You That Guy?’ Aggressive Driving Campaign-5 drivers cited for Aggressive Driving

Are You That Guy? Aggressive Driving TV Commercial

Dover – During the first wave of enforcement, 5 drivers were found ‘to be that guy’ and cited for Aggressive Driving as part of the ‘Are You That Guy?’ aggressive driving campaign.

Are You That Guy?

Delaware police officers also cited 529 individuals for speeding, 29 for failing to obey stop signs/red lights, 26 unsafe lane changes, 33 seat belt citations, 6 child restraint violations, 33 cell phone citations, and issued 177 other traffic citations during the first wave of enforcement.

When an officer observes a driver committing three or more traffic violations in a single incident,  the driver is charged with Aggressive Driving.  Violations include speeding, failing to yield right of way, tailgating, making improper lane changes, running red lights or stop signs, failure to use turn signals, and passing on the right,    Drivers cited for aggressive driving will be assessed 6 points on their licenses and charged fines between $100 and $300.   They are also required to pay an additional $100 fee to complete an 8 hour behavior modification/attitudinal driving course within 90 days after the conviction for aggressive driving. Failure to complete the course will result in suspension of the individuals’ driving privileges.

Delaware State Police in all three counties, along with the New Castle County, Dover, Milford and Wilmington Police agencies will continue to conduct aggressive driving patrols during the second wave of enforcement that begins June 4th,  followed by 2 other waves in July and August.  Police are being asked to focus on the top four aggressive driving violations in the State of Delaware with the primary focus on drivers who fail to yield the right of way to other drivers.  Failure to yield the right of way violations include drivers who turn left in front of another vehicle, pull out in front of other vehicles at stop signs and fail to merge safely.  It is also the primary contributing factor in aggressive driving related fatal and injury crashes.

In 2011, 39% of all fatal crashes were related to acts of aggressive driving. Currently in 2012, 12 of the 30 fatal crashes (40%) have been attributed to aggressive driving behaviors; 6 for failure to grant right of way, 2 for speed, 1 for failure to obey stop sign and 3 for driving over the center line.

To learn more about aggressive driving and find out if you are ‘that guy’ take the quiz here www.AggressivedrivingDE.com. For more information on Respect The Sign campaign or any of the other OHS campaigns visit www.ohs.delaware.gov, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE or follow us on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe.


OHS Launches the 2012 Aggressive Driving Campaign and Asks Drivers “Are You That Guy?”

Dover – The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is asking drivers “Are You That Guy?” as they launch the agency’s aggressive driving campaign for 2012.  The agency is building upon the already successful “Respect the Sign” aggressive driving campaign and again highlighting the traffic signs drivers are more likely to ignore such as stop signs, speed limit signs, and yield signs.  The campaign will include high-visibility enforcement and awareness initiatives aimed at reducing aggressive driving-related traffic deaths.

OHS will conduct with four 2-week mini waves of enforcement beginning April 30th and ending in August. Enforcement will be accompanied by outreach efforts focused on reducing the top four aggressive driving behaviors that cause crashes: speeding, failure to yield the right of way (not waiting for other drivers), driving left of center (unsafe lane changing) and stop sign violations.

Since January 1st of this year there have been 27 fatal crashes in Delaware, 11 of which were caused by aggressive driving behaviors.  Just this month, 7 individuals were killed in a crash caused by either speeding or failure to grant the right of way.  In 2011, of the State’s 97 fatal crashes, 37% (37 crashes) were attributed to aggressive driving behaviors.  Of these 37 fatal crashes, a driver’s failure to grant the right of way caused 9 crashes, and speeding caused 11 crashes.

“If you are confronted by an aggressive driver, safely move out of their way, do not challenge them or make threating gestures,” said Jana Simpler, Director of OHS. “Once you are in a safe location away from ‘That Guy’, report the driver to 9-1-1 and give the vehicle & driver description, direction of travel and license plate number if you can.  Aggressive driving is dangerous and can lead to serious injury and sometimes deadly consequences.”

Public outreach and education activities along high visibility enforcement will continue to be the cornerstone of this year’s new campaign efforts. A new website www.AggressivedrivingDE.com was created where individuals can take a quiz to find out what type of driver they are, learn about the violations & penalties for aggressive driving, and how to deal with ‘that guy’ if they encounter one on the road.  Life sized traffic signs with ‘that guy’ excuse for ignoring the sign, will also be placed at select partnering locations through the state including Grottos, University of Delaware, and California Tortilla. OHS is also partnering with Lynam & Catts beach service to place floatable key chains on beach chairs for patrons to keep as a reminder to check and see if they are ‘that guy’.

Delaware State Police in all three counties, along with the New Castle County, Dover, Milford and Wilmington Police agencies will be conducting aggressive driving patrols during the 4 waves of enforcement.  Police are being asked to focus on the top four aggressive driving violations in the State of Delaware with the primary focus on drivers who fail to grant the right of way to other drivers.  Failure to grant the right of way violations include drivers who turn left in front of another vehicle, pull out in front of other vehicles at stop signs and fail to merge safely.  It is also the primary contributing factor in aggressive driving related fatal and injury crashes.

New paid media messaging focusing on aggressive driving behaviors have been developed and will be incorporated throughout the 4 waves of enforcement including cable tv, billboards, print, online advertising, posters, fliers, and table tents.

Individuals who are stopped under Delaware’s aggressive driving law can be charged both with aggressive driving and charged for each individual traffic offense.  Penalties include fines between $100 – $300 for a first offense, possible jail time, and mandatory attendance at an 8-hour behavior modification course.  Subsequent convictions will result in the loss of driving privileges for one month.   The 2011 “Respect The Sign” campaign resulted in 4,698 citations being issued for aggressive driving behaviors and 36 individuals arrested for Aggressive Driving.

For more information on Respect The Sign campaign or any of the other OHS campaigns visit www.ohs.delaware.gov, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE or follow us on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe.