PennDOT: Holiday crashes dip; DUI arrests rise

Although Thanksgiving holiday crashes handled by state police decreased this year, DUI arrests saw an increase from 2015.

The Pennsylvania State Police investigated 931 crashes during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday driving period from Nov. 23 through Nov. 27. The total represented a decrease of 8.1 percent compared to the 1,013 crashes investigated during the Thanksgiving holiday driving period in 2015, said a PennDOT press release.

Of the 931 crashes investigated, 61 were alcohol-related, 271 people were injured, and six people were killed. Two of the six fatal crashes involved alcohol, the release said.

Troopers made 610 DUI arrests over the long holiday weekend, up from 558 in 2015. They also issued 13,941 speeding citations, 1,264 citations for people for not wearing seat belts, and 183 citations to drivers for not securing children in safety seats. The statistics cover only those incidents investigated by state police and do not include statistics on incidents to which other law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania responded, the release said.

Law enforcement agencies, including Pennsylvania State Police, step up patrols during the holidays in an effort to reduce reckless and impaired driving. During the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel periods in 2015, 1,209 crashes statewide involved a driver impaired by drugs or alcohol, according to PennDOT data.

As the holiday season continues, drivers are encouraged to download the SaferRide app. Developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the app provides a simple interface to call a taxi or a trusted friend for a ride if you have had too much to drink.

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