The Thanksgiving holiday period is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and to help save lives on Indiana roadways this Thanksgiving, the Indiana State Police (ISP) will participate in the statewide blitz known as “Safe Family Travel.”
“Safe Family Travel” is an annual enforcement effort that combines high-visibility seatbelt and impaired driving patrols. Conducted by more than 250 state and local law enforcement agencies that receive federal highway safety funding from Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, the effort will start this Friday, Nov. 16, and run through Sunday, Dec. 2.
During this 16-day blitz, Indiana law enforcement officers will work thousands of overtime hours – day and night – to ensure that motorists are driving responsibly and traveling safely on the state’s roadways.
“During this Thanksgiving holiday, many more people are on the road traveling to visit friends and family,” saidLieutenant Tony Casto, Ft. Wayne District Commander of the ISP. “So whether you’re traveling across the country or just across town, one of the best ways to ensure a safe arrival is to always buckle up, and if you plan to consume alcohol, designated a sober driver.”
In 2011, there were 476 alcohol-related collisions in Indiana during the month of November, resulting in five fatalities. There were also 415 collisions that reported non-restraint use which resulted in 12 fatalities.
In addition to the alcohol-related fatalities that occurred on Indiana roadways last November, data further shows that there were a total of 235 injuries and 32 serious bodily injuries reported during that same time. Likewise, in addition to the fatalities that occurred due to non-restraint use, there were 476 injuries and 68 serious bodily injuries reported.
Child passengers are also an impacted group. In 2011, there were 5,191 children ages 0-15 involved in collisions resulting in 3,951 reported injuries and 38 fatalities.
“Many of these injuries and deaths could be prevented if drivers would just plan ahead,” Lt. Casto continued. “That is why I want to caution all drivers that if you are caught not wearing your seatbelt, or you have child passengers who are not properly restrained, you will be stopped and you will receive a ticket. If you are caught driving impaired, we will detect you and ultimately place you under arrest.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent, when seatbelts are worn correctly.