Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Safe Driving Notice for the July 4th Holiday

IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE - generated by our News Release ListServer
District 3 Headquarters
700 S. Stratford Dr., Meridian 83642
(208) 884-7122
Fax (208) 846-7520

For Immediate Release: July 3, 2012 2:33 pm
Please direct questions to the Public Information Officer (208)884-7122

This weekend Idahoans plan to be out enjoying the beautiful Idaho weather and celebrating our nation�s freedom, but whether you are out boating on one of our beautiful rivers or lakes, or camping and spending time with family and friends, please keep in mind that the Fourth of July is one of deadliest holiday periods of the year on Idaho roads.

That's why this Fourth of July and through the following weekend, Idaho State Police (ISP) Troopers, will increase enforcement efforts to crack down on impaired and aggressive drivers before they become involved in a traffic crash or tragic highway incident. With our main focus on public safety ISP will be keeping our highways safe from impaired drivers, so this weekend remember "Drive Drunk, Go to Jail".

National statistics for the 2010 Fourth of July holiday weekend show 392 people were killed in traffic crashes. Of those, 39 percent involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Statistics gathered by the Idaho Department of Transportation, Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reflect that on July 4th, during the years of 2009 through 2011, 389 vehicle crashes occurred on Idaho roads and highways resulting in 348 injuries and 6 deaths. On July 4th, 2011 Idahoans were involved in 173 vehicle crashes, and alcohol claimed the lives of two people.

Col. Russell, ISP Director reminds all Idaho drivers "to enjoy the holiday, drive responsibly which means if you consume alcohol have a designated driver, buckle up and slow down".

Impaired driving fatalities spike during nighttime hours. Nationally, the proportion of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2010 was almost five times higher at night (6:00 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) than during the day (6:00 a.m. to 5:59 p.m.) for the Fourth of July holiday period. In fact, more than 80 percent of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities took place at nighttime.

The Idaho State Police and the Idaho Department of Transportation offer the following safety reminders for holiday travel:

Get the recommended amount sleep before you get behind the wheel. Fatigued drivers are more frequent during holiday weekends because of increased travel and activity. Be patient and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.

Pay attention. An inattentive driver is a growing safety concern on our roads and an increasing factor in traffic crashes.

Even when workers are not present, all work zone speed limits still apply and fines double. Inactive work zones still have equipment, detours, and incomplete changes in the roadway so drivers need to slow down and be alert.

Share the road. Don't tailgate and check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.

Be on the lookout for bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable users of our roads.

Always use safety restraints and child safety seats correctly.

Don't drink and drive.

MOVE OVER if you are approaching any type of emergency vehicle, tow truck or roadside assistance vehicle which is stopped on the roadside with emergency lights activated.

Everyone plays an important part in keeping our highways and city streets safe. Immediately report aggressive, dangerous, and intoxicated drivers to the Idaho State Police at (208) 846-7500 or *477 and /or dial 9-1-1.