PHILADELPHIA, PA (December 8, 2020) Given the recent surge in COVID-19 and the strong urging of public health officials for everyone to stay home for the holidays, AAA Mid-Atlantic and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) remind the public in the Philadelphia region to avoid unsafe driving dangers, such as impaired driving and speeding.
“This holiday season will look different this year, but crashes unfortunately have remained constant and we need the public’s help in creating safer roads,” says PennDOT District 6 Safety Press Officer Robyn Briggs. “Because of Covid-19 we are dealing with a lot right now and drivers should always be wearing their seat belts, not driving impaired or speeding so that families and friends can enjoy the holiday season without worrying about loved ones getting hurt.”
“Speeding, red-light running, cutting other drivers off, and impaired driving can kill you, your passengers, and others sharing the road,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Aggressive and impaired driving isn’t worth the risk. Even though the roads may be less crowded when you get behind the wheel this holiday season, you still must be patient, obey traffic laws, and always drive sober so everyone gets home safely.”
PennDOT data indicates that the winter holiday season continues to lead in percentage of traffic crashes. In the Philadelphia region from Sunday. December 1, 2019 through Thursday, January 2, 2020, there were 252 impaired driver related crashes, including seven fatal crashes. During the same time span, 691 crashes were caused by speeding, which resulted in 11 fatalities.
AAA Mid-Atlantic and PennDOT encourage the following safe behaviors for the holiday season:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19;
- If you do venture out in your area, continue to practice social distancing, keep hand sanitizer with you, and always wear a mask;
- If you are out and decide to drink arrange for alternate transportation such as a ride-share app or mass transportation;
- Always wear your seatbelt;
- Slow down. Speeding endangers not only the life of the driver, but everyone on the road around them; and
- Remember traffic could be increased because of the holidays. Stay calm and watch for pedestrians always.
The Pennsylvania State Police and hundreds of municipal police departments statewide will participate in the “Operation Safe Holiday” campaign to ensure motorists drive sober and practice safe driving behaviors through the New Year’s holiday.
The holiday impaired driving enforcements are funded through PennDOT’s statewide annual distribution from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For more information on PennDOT’s highway safety efforts visit, www.PennDOT.gov/safety.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 60 million members nationwide and more than 3.2 million members in Pennsylvania. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile appss for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.