By JIM BRADBERRY
Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department
As motorists take to the roads this Thanksgiving Holiday, officers from the Elkhart County Traffic Safety Partnership are urging everyone to buckle up and to drive sober.
Now until Dec. 3 officers from the partnership will begin participating in Indiana’s “Safe Family Travel” campaign. Using saturated patrols and high visibility zones to detect drunk drivers and to identify seat belt and child restraint violations, Elkhart County’s roadways will be safer through officers’ efforts this holiday season.
Motorists are encouraged to be alert this Thanksgiving holiday and practice safe driving habits. If you spot a suspected drunk driver, please call 911 to report the driver immediately as you may save a life. Please buckle up, utilize a designated driver when needed, and take time to reach your destination.
In 2013, there were over 490 alcohol related crashes across Indiana, which resulted in 224 injuries and 13 fatalities. A total of 735 drivers were arrested for drunk driving and 9,504 seat belt citations were issued to drivers and passengers who were not properly restrained. In Indiana, approximately 50 percent of fatalities in passenger car accidents were the result of occupants not buckling up.
Those traveling with children should be knowledgeable on the proper use of restraints and boosters for children. Studies have shown that the leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 8 and 15 is traffic crashes. Additional information on the proper uses of these devices can be found at www.childseat.gov.