News release from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute:
Impaired, Dangerous Driving a Dead End Road
Dangerous Driving Enforcement July 3 – 8, 2012
In an effort to reduce fatal and serious bodily injury crashes that occur over the July 4th holiday period, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) today announced that the Indiana State Police and local police will join other law enforcement agencies in the surrounding states to conduct Dangerous Driving Enforcement (DDE).
This stepped up enforcement effort is funded by ICJI with federal highway safety funds and will consist of sobriety checkpoints and other high-visibility patrols to detect and if necessary, arrest traffic violators.
The July 4th holiday is one of the deadliest times of the year on Indiana roadways. Distractions, such as talking on a cell phone, texting and driving, eating, multiple passengers, loud music, etc. are plentiful and can have an adverse impact on the motoring public during this time of national celebration.
Specifically, dangerous driving due to alcohol consumption and texting while driving are among two prominent highway hazards drivers will face during the upcoming holiday period. Whether it is texting and driving or drinking and driving, distractions on the road can be fatal.
“Although enforcement efforts occur in May with Indiana’s “Click It or Ticket” enforcement mobilization, and August with Indiana’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on impaired driving, there traditionally has not been a considerable amount of enforcement occurring during June and July between these blitzes,” said Ryan Klitzsch, Traffic Safety division director at ICJI.
“This is a particularly heavy period for fatal crashes, especially motorcycle related crashes. The DDE project now aggressively addresses this problem and will hopefully lead towards a significant drop in deaths and injuries during this time,” Klitzsch continued.
According to ICJI, from July 2 – July 5 2010, there were more than 1,000 collisions and nearly 10 percent were alcohol related. In fact, the 2010 Independence Day period had more alcohol related crashes per 24-hour period than any other holiday.
Additionally, texting while driving and other forms of distracted driving are trending issues on Indiana roadways. This is evidenced by the 6,308 collisions in 2011 that were caused by driver distraction. Of these collisions, 448 were specifically related to cell phone usage. Also, in 2011, there were 10 fatalities and 94 incapacitating injuries as a result of distracted driving.
On June 29, in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Transportation, ICJI launched a digital billboard Traffic Safety campaign featuring highway signs that display quick, targeted messages on Interstates across the state. Anti-texting and driving radio spots will also air during this time to generate additional awareness. The campaign ends July 8.
“As Hoosiers around the state begin celebrating Independence Day, precautions should be taken to eliminate the possibility of a crash occurring at the hands of an impaired driver. Designating a sober driver, planning a way home before celebrations start and turning your cell phone down or off before getting in the driver’s seat are just a few ways that everyone can help to keep themselves and others safe on Indiana roadways,” Klitzsch added.
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) serves as the state’s planning agency for criminal justice, juvenile justice, traffic safety, and victim services. The Institute develops long-range strategies for the effective administration of Indiana’s criminal and juvenile justice systems and administers federal and state funds to carry out these strategies.
The Governor’s Council on Impaired & Dangerous Driving serves as the public opinion catalyst for statewide action to reduce death and injury on Indiana roadways. The Council provides ongoing support to state and local traffic safety advocates.