Traffic Safety News – Safe Family Holiday

Feel the chill in the air? That means that the holidays are just beginning to warm up! Thousands of Delawareans will be hitting the road to visit family and friends and even do some holiday shopping. Thanksgiving marked the kickoff of the 2014 holiday season and OHS’s annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign!

What you need to know
OHS wants to remind motorists as they travel this holiday season to buckle up, be patient and slow down, and always use a designated driver. Here’s what you need to know:

• Since January 1st of this year, 114 people have lost their lives on Delaware roadways in 101 fatal traffic crashes, compared to 98 people killed in 93 fatal traffic crashes this time last year.
• Speeding has contributed to 41% of the fatal traffic crashes to date.
• Alcohol consumption has attributed to 47% of the traffic deaths.
• Forty three percent (43%) of vehicle occupants killed this year were not wearing their seat belts.

What you can do
Our goal is to keep families safe while travelling on Delaware roadways during this very special time of year. Awareness and enforcement are the cornerstones of our annual Safe Family Holiday campaign:

The DUI Tree project brings awareness of the number of alcohol-involved crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year. You can find DUI Trees at Beebe Hospital, Bayhealth Medical Center, and AI DuPont. Or, you can check out our virtual DUI Tree for weekly updates during the holiday season at

Holiday Mocktail events are planned statewide to encourage responsible party planning. Each event features a non-alcoholic party punch and smart party snacks. Take a peek at our Safe and Sober Party Guide for mocktail recipes and party planning tips. Mocktail books are always free of charge and available online at

Be aware that enforcement is statewide and ongoing from now through the end of the year. Enforcement includes sobriety checkpoints and overtime patrols looking for speeding and impaired drivers, as well as anyone who is not properly secured in a seat belt. Remember to give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, never drive impaired, and always buckle up.

From all of us here at the Office of Highway Safety, Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

Drive Safe. Arrive Alive DE.

OHS Annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign Kicks Off Thanksgiving Week

Enforcement focus is on DUI, Speed, and Seat Belts.

 Dover – If you listen closely, instead of saying “Gobble, Gobble, Gobble”, the Thanksgiving turkey is reminding all to “Buckle, Buckle, Buckle” up this holiday season. The Office of Highway Safety also wants to remind motorists as they travel this holiday season to buckle up, be patient and slow down, and, if partaking in some holiday spirits, use a designated driver. Delaware law enforcement will be on high alert this holiday to make sure you arrive safely to your destination. Historically, Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year, putting more people on the road, and unfortunately increasing the likelihood of crashes

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

Wednesday Nov. 26th                        Wilmington (New Castle County DUI Task Force)- Checkpoint

Since January 1st of this year, 111 people have lost their lives on Delaware roadways in 98 fatal traffic crashes, compared to 95 people killed in 90 fatal traffic crashes this time last year. Speeding has contributed to 41% of the fatal traffic crashes to date. Alcohol consumption has attributed to 49% of the traffic deaths. Forty three percent (43%) of vehicle occupants killed this year were not wearing their seat belts.

Wednesday, November 26th marks the beginning of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety’s annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign. Safe Family Holiday enforcement activities over the next six weeks will include 30 law enforcement agencies statewide conducting overtime patrols focusing on speeding, impaired driving, and seat belt use. Enforcement will supplement already scheduled Checkpoint Strikeforce DUI checkpoints. The Safe Family Holiday 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.

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 attendees. OHS will have several mocktail events this holiday season with seven corporate partners across the state. Find recipes and safety tips for your own mocktail from the OHS holiday mocktail booklet

The DUI Tree memorializes alcohol-related deaths and injuries during the campaign. Colored light bulbs on the tree represent each victim killed or injured in an impaired driving crash. DUI Trees are sponsored by four highway safety corporate partners and are set up the week of Thanksgiving. OHS has created a virtual DUI Tree for the public to view at Last year, 2 people were killed and 15 were injured in alcohol-related crashes in Delaware during the holiday season.

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, or Like us on Facebook at

Buckle Up. Slow Down. Arrive Alive.

Dover – With summer over and school back in session, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is reminding motorists to drive safe this fall and save a life by buckling up and slowing down on Delaware roadways. The campaign will include high-visibility enforcement and awareness initiatives aimed at reducing traffic deaths through speed and seat belt enforcement from October 3rd – 26th and November 26th – December 31st.

Since January 1st of this year there have been 98 traffic fatalities in Delaware. Sixty five (65) were vehicle occupants of which 43% were not wearing a seat belt. In 2013, 40% of the unbelted crashes happened on a Saturday or Sunday. Saturday is also the most common day for speed related fatal crashes and Friday has the highest number of speed related injury crashes.

Public outreach and education activities will accompany the high-visibility enforcement activities. A digital paid media buy will spread the message on various website, including Pandora radio, with banner and audio ads. Messages will be placed on variable message boards throughout the state through a partnership with DelDOT to remind motorists to buckle up and slow down. OHS will also launch a contest tomorrow (Oct 9th) on the OHS Facebook page to engage the public about buckling up and slowing down. There will be one puzzle a week during October and December with weekly prizes.

Delaware State Police in all three counties, along with law enforcement from the Delaware River and Bay Authority, Dover PD, Middletown PD, Milford PD, New Castle City PD, New Castle County PD, Newark PD, Newport PD, Seaford PD, Smyrna PD, and Wilmington PD will be conducting enforcement patrols throughout the campaign. Police are being asked to focus on unrestrained occupants, improperly restraint occupants in vehicles, and speeding drivers. Examples of improperly worn seat belts are those that are put behind the back or under the arm. For a seat belt to be effective and save a life, it must be worn properly with the lap belt low and snug across the hips and the shoulder harness worn across the shoulder and chest with minimal slack.

For more information on any OHS campaign visit, find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe.

Highway Safety Officials Stress Traffic Enforcement

Dover – The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is stressing the importance of traffic safety after a deadly first week in July and reminding motorists law enforcement officers are out enforcing these laws to help protect the public and save lives.  Several enforcement campaigns are in effect to address speeding, impaired driving, motorcycle safety, pedestrian safety and seat belt use; most of which were a factor in the crashes last week.  Between July 1 and July 6, there were 347 crashes across the state that resulted in 4 fatalities and 113 injuries. Those killed included 1 motorcyclist and 3 other drivers.

Speed and motorcycle enforcement continues until July 12th; seat belt enforcement is scheduled from July 18-31; the pedestrian safety campaign is scheduled from July 10-25 and impaired driving enforcement continues with Checkpoint Strikeforce each week through the end of the year.

A sobriety checkpoint is scheduled for Friday July 11 in Bear.  Last week a total of 86 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in Delaware.  To date over 2,000 DUI arrests have been made since January 1st 2014.

Motorcycle safety continues to be a major concern for safety official, as there have been 13 motorcycle fatalities this year compared to 8 at this time last year.  Helmet use among motorcyclists has declined.  Of those killed this year only 23% were wearing a helmet compared to 75% last year.  Although Delaware law does not require a rider to wear a helmet, it does require a helmet to be on the motorcycle.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 in the U.S., 1,699 lives were saved by motorcycle helmet use.

Delaware also continues the pedestrian safety campaign in Sussex and New Castle counties, urging pedestrians to use crosswalks, sidewalks, and to be visible to motorists in low light or dark conditions.  Officers will be patrolling high pedestrian crash locations and stopping pedestrians who are not walking or crossing safely. Officers will provide the pedestrians with an educational flyer with safe walking tips included.  They will also answer any questions about the pedestrian safety law. There have been 150 pedestrian-involved crashes this year, resulting in 129 pedestrians injured and 9 pedestrians killed.  The majority of these involved pedestrian error, such as stepping into the path of a vehicle or not crossing in a crosswalk or marked intersection.

Speed has also been a factor in many of the crashes this year.  When speeding is coupled with impaired driving, distracted driving, disregarding traffic signals, or other traffic offenses, crashes are more likely to end in fatalities.  The OHS speed campaign is implementing new education and outreach tactics to get motorists to Slow Down and Arrive Alive.  These including working with businesses across the state to place large life-sized signs in high profile locations, posting reminders on social media, and making answers to frequently asked questions available through social media as well.

“Law enforcement officers are writing tickets to save lives,” said Alison Kirk, Community Relations Officer for OHS.  “If you receive a ticket we hope you will pause for a moment the next time you get in your vehicle, remember why you received the ticket and change the behavior that led to the ticket. Yes it may hurt your pocket to pay a fine, but it hurts a lot less than being in the hospital.”

Recently an Elsmere police officer pulled over an 18 year old male for not wearing his seat belt and gave him a ticket.  That same 18 year old, who just graduated from high school, was involved in a serious crash a few days later.  This time he was wearing his seat belt.  His mother, speaking with the investigating officer at the hospital, was aware of her son’s recent seat belt ticket and felt certain that ticket saved his life by making him buckle up.

OHS reminds all drivers to go back to the basics of driving safety:  slow down, don’t drink and drive and always buckle up.  Avoid using illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs before driving.  Plan extra time to get to any destination so you don’t let traffic frustration cause you to make a bad decision behind the wheel.

For updates follow OHS on Twitter @DEHighwaySafe, and on Facebook at Campaign specific information can be found at,,  NHTSA motorcycle information can be found at


Safe Start To Summer

Memorial Day weekend DUI and seat belt enforcement

Dover – The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is wishing everyone a safe start to summer with their celebrations this Memorial Day weekend.  Officers will be working overtime to keep everyone safe as they travel by reminding motorists to buckle up and removing impaired drivers from the roadways.

Impaired driving overtime enforcement will be conducted over the weekend by Dover PD, New Castle City PD, New Castle County PD, Newark PD, Rehoboth Beach PD, Wilmington PD, and Delaware State Police.  The Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign began May 12th and continues through Memorial Day weekend with 35 police departments and Delaware State Police participating statewide.

To stay safe and arrive alive, OHS has some road safety tips for Memorial Day weekend.

  1. Check your speed. Plan your route in advance and be prepared to spend more time reaching your destination rather than speeding to get there faster.
  2. Obey intersection safety rules. Motorcyclists, pedestrian, and bicyclist traffic also increases during the weekend. Traffic signals and stop signs are in place to maintain safe roadways for drivers, passengers and pedestrians sharing the road.
  3. Buckle up. All passengers in the vehicle should use seat belts to keep them safe in the event of a crash.
  4. If you are drinking, do not drive. Designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternative transportation.

For more information visit, and follow regular campaign updates on Twitter at and Facebook