The following is a press release from the PA Department of Transportation in its entirety.
King of Prussia, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today joined the U.S. Coast Guard, Philadelphia Police Department Marine Unit, Pennsylvania DUI Association, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission and AAA Mid-Atlantic in Philadelphia to promote safe driving, boating during an Independence Day impaired enforcement campaign.
While many people will be celebrating Independence Day festivities over the next week, it is important to remain vigilant and drive sober while operating a vehicle or vessel.
Alcohol and drug use can impair a person’s judgment and reaction time. Motorists who drive while impaired, whether in a car or a boat, are not only endangering themselves, but their passengers and others on the roadways and waterways.
According to PennDOT data, in 2018 there were 44 statewide fatalities from June 29 through July 8. Of those fatalities, 25 deaths were due to impaired driving; loss of life that could have been avoided. Seven lives were lost in the Philadelphia region during that time due to impaired driving. If you are heading out on our roadways or to a river on a boat, practice these safety tips:
- Designate a nondrinking driver before festivities even begin;
- Never operate a vehicle or water vessel while impaired;
- Remember, it’s ok to take the keys away from someone who is impaired to prevent them from driving;
- If you are hosting, remind your guests to designate a driver, whether that is a friend, or a ride share app, such as NHTSA’s SaferRide;
- Always buckle-up in a vehicle or wear a life vest on a boat; and
- Consider having no alcohol while aboard a boat, since intoxicated passengers are also at risk of injury and falls overboard.
The enforcement effort, which runs through July 7, is funded through PennDOT’s statewide annual distribution of more than $4.7 million dollars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for impaired driving enforcement.