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PennDOT, Police Promote Safe Holiday Travel

Agencies will operate checkpoints, roving patrols to ensure safety from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.

PennDOT and police statewide are joining forces for "Operation Safe Holiday," an initiative including seat-belt, aggressive-driving and impaired-driving enforcement aimed at keeping roadways safe this holiday season.

The operation is under way, beginning with statewide Click It or Ticket seat-belt enforcement.

Through the New Year, police will also use sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols to crack down on motorists who are speeding, driving aggressively or driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

"Every year we see an increase in travel during the holiday season, and unfortunately we also see more crashes," PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. "If we all take the simple steps to buckle up, take our time and drive safe and sober, the holidays will be safer for everyone on Pennsylvania’s roadways."

PennDOT reports that the holiday season continues to be the leading time period for traffic crashes.

There were 4,235 crashes and 49 fatalities last year during the Thanksgiving travel period, which includes the weekends before and after the holiday.

During the Christmas and New Year travel periods, there were a combined 1,994 crashes and 19 fatalities.

PennDOT encourages motorists to make sure they are well-rested and alert before traveling. Travelers should also rotate drivers and take frequent breaks.   Motorists should allow extra time for travel and expect to encounter traffic delays.

As weather and road conditions can worsen quickly at this time of year, motorists should always check the forecast for their entire route and make sure their vehicle is equipped with a winter emergency kit and tires with good traction.

Weather and travel information for more than 2,900 miles of state roads is available by calling 511 or visiting www.511pa.com before leaving home.

You can find PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews and Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaDepartmentofTransportation.

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