Hopefully 2013 will be different than the last five holiday seasons. From 2008-2012, an average of 49 people died in traffic crashes in Washington between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
DUI is still the leading cause of traffic death, however it doesn’t have to be that way and that is why between November 27, 2013 and January 1, 2014 extra law enforcement officers will be looking for drivers under the influence on Washington roadways.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission recently asked people what the goal should be for the number of traffic deaths in Washington. Everyone indicated they would like to see fewer people killed. But when asked what the goal should be for their family members, everyone responded, “zero.” (Well, almost everyone. Visit www.WAdrivetozero.com to see what residents think about zero traffic deaths).
In order to reach zero traffic deaths, it will take effort from everyone.
•Call 911 if you see a suspected DUI driver on the roads.
•If you drink, use marijuana, or take other drugs, don’t drive. Make plans before-hand for how you’ll get around.
•If you are hosting a party, make sure your guests get home safely. Plan to have sober designated drivers available. Buy a few extra air mattresses so guests can stay the night. If it’s an office party, limit alcohol, provide shuttle service or book hotel rooms. Remember, as a party host, you are liable for the actions of the people who leave your party intoxicated.
•Talk with your children about alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. Help them understand the ways alcohol and marijuana use can harm their bodies, their brains, and their future. Let them know that they can call you instead of ever getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking, using marijuana or taking drugs. www.starttalkingnow.org
Extra law enforcement patrols will be out all during the holidays. These and all extra patrols are part of Target Zero—striving to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Washington by 2030.
For more, go to www.wtsc.wa.gov.