|Thanksgiving traffic safety reminder|
|Tuesday, November 26, 2013 9:16 PM|
LIMA – To prevent fatal, as well as serious injury crashes, local law enforcement agencies in Allen County will be out over the long Thanksgiving holiday in full force — from now until Dec. 2 — enforcing traffic laws, including seat belt use, impaired driving and speeding as well as other risky behaviors.
When worn correctly, seat belts are proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat occupants by 45 percent and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans. During 2012, seven people died in seven fatal crashes in Allen County; however, 20 people were vehicle occupants in those fatal crashes. Of the seven fatalities, 57 percent chose not to use appropriate safety equipment, including seat belts and one motorcyclist who did not wear a helmet. Of the 20 vehicle occupants, 61.5 percent chose to wear a seat belt, avoiding serious or even fatal injury.
In 2012, 10,322 (4.6 percent increase over 2011) people died in highway crashes across the nation, involving a driver or motorcycle operator with an illegal blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher; that is one person every 53 minutes. In Ohio, during the same time, 470 people died in a crash involving an impaired driver; in Allen County, three died in such crashes. We can prevent even one more person from dying or being seriously injured in an impaired driving crash. It is up to us to CHOOSE to make our roads safer:
— CHOOSE to use a seat belt; it is the best protection against death or serious injury in a crash;
— If you CHOOSE to drink … CHOOSE not to drive;
— CHOOSE to plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
— Before drinking, CHOOSE to designate a non-drinking driver;
— If you’re impaired, CHOOSE to call for a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
— If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, CHOOSE to call law enforcement;
— And remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride a motorcycle while impaired, CHOOSE to take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.