Today, Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and other Commonwealth agencies held a joint media event announcing plans of “zero-tolerance” toward impaired, aggressive, distracted, and speeding drivers this holiday weekend.
PSP and other local law enforcement agencies will conduct checkpoints and roving patrols this weekend, funded through PennDOT’s statewide annual distribution of more than $4.7 million from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for impaired driving enforcement.
“PSP and its local law enforcement partners have zero-tolerance toward impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving, as well as speeding,” said PSP Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick. “Wherever you travel this holiday weekend, please slow down, buckle up, and drive safely.”
This crackdown comes after 136 alcohol-related crashes in 2021, an over 20% increase from 2020, resulting in 6 fatalities. 48 drug-related crashes that resulted in 4 fatalities also occurred in 2021, all from Friday, July 2 through Monday, July 5, according to PennDOT.
“Independence Day is a time for celebration, but before heading out to these celebrations, we urge Pennsylvanians to keep safety in mind,” said PennDOT Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Mike Keiser. “If your celebration includes alcohol, plan ahead by designating a sober driver or arranging for alternate transportation. Never drive impaired.”
According to the DCNR, Pennsylvania ranks top 5 in the U.S. for ATV crashes. Although alcohol is not permitted on public lands, it is a factor in many reported crashes. To avoid incidents, Pennsylvanians are encouraged to follow recreation guidelines, comply with all posted safety signage, and practice safe behavior.
“Riding ATVs is just like driving a vehicle, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not permitted while operating an ATV,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Whether you’re riding an ATV or taking a walk in Penn’s Woods, safety is key when recreating during the holidays and throughout the year. Many of the worst accidents at state parks and forests occur when people do not follow guidelines in place, which is why we encourage all visitors to practice safe behavior while visiting public lands.”
According to the Fish and Boat Commission, last year, there were 49 boating under the influence (BUI) arrests.
“Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, and reaction time on the water, and boating under the influence puts everyone at risk, including passengers and others enjoying the water,” said PA Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Tim Schaeffer. “Our goal is for boaters to have a safe and enjoyable time on the water. This begins with safe boating practices that include wearing a life jacket each and every time they’re on a boat and not drinking while boating.”
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