INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – The Indiana Institute of Criminal Justice announced the results of the enhanced law enforcement effort that took place over the holidays to reduce traffic accidents and fatalities. The Safe Family Travel campaign ran from Thanksgiving to New Years and led to increased high-visibility patrols and sobriety checkpoints across the state.
In total, officers conducted 582 overtime patrols and worked 2,441 overtime hours. Preliminary reports say officers conducted 7,283 traffic stops, resulting in 3,277 citations, 3,709 warnings and 297 arrests. Of these, 79 concerned driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If these results are any indication, reckless driving continues to be a pervasive problem and one we haven’t left behind in 2021,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “Nearly 30 more people were killed last month compared to January 2019. Reckless driving must stop. It is costing us precious lives.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 10,000 people die each year in drunk driving-related crashes in the United States. That’s about one person every 52 minutes. Tragically, the holidays are a particularly dangerous time, as drunk driving fatalities tend to rise.
That’s why Indiana mobilized hundreds of state and local law enforcement agencies for the Safe Family Travel campaign, which was funded by NHTSA with grants from the Criminal Justice Institute. While officers were on high alert for signs of impaired driving, motorists were cited for other forms of reckless driving, particularly speeding.
Nearly a third (2,197) of tickets and warnings issued during the campaign were for excessive speeds.
“Speed is dangerous energy,” said Robert Duckworth, ICJI’s road safety director. “The higher the speed, the greater the likelihood of injury or death in an accident. This reduces your ability to react. The solution is to slow down.
Although the enhanced law enforcement campaign has ended, officers are still on the lookout for reckless driving. To stay safe, state and local authorities encourage motorists to: never drive while impaired, always wear a seatbelt, obey posted speed limits, watch for pedestrians and avoid distracted driving.
Before consuming alcohol, plan a sober ride home, such as a designated driver or using a transportation service or public transportation. Motorists are encouraged to call 911 if they encounter an impaired or dangerous driver on the road.
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