PennDOT will again partner with police agencies across the state for "Operation Safe Holiday" from Thanksgiving through the New Year's holiday.
Police will use sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and regular traffic safety patrols to watch for motorists exhibiting dangerous behaviors, including speeding, aggressive and impaired driving. Pennsylvania will also conduct Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement from Nov. 19 to Dec. 3.
"The holidays bring increased traffic to our highways," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "We're asking all motorists to be smart about safety by buckling up, obeying speed limits and avoiding distractions behind the wheel."
According to PennDOT, Thanksgiving continues to be the leading holiday for traffic crashes. There were more than 4,500 crashes and 41 fatalities last year during that period, which includes the weekends before and after the holiday. More than 500 of those crashes were alcohol-related.
To increase safety on long trips, PennDOT encourages motorists to make sure they are well-rested and alert. It is also a good idea to rotate drivers and take frequent breaks, stopping to rest for 10 minutes every 100 miles.
Motorists should also plan for traffic delays and allow extra time for travel.
"Getting there safely is more important than being on time," Biehler added. "Your family and friends would rather see you arrive late than not at all." PennDOT reminds motorists that weather and road conditions can worsen quickly at this time of year. Motorists should always check the weather forecast before traveling and make sure their vehicle is equipped with a winter emergency kit.
Information on travel delays, road conditions and weather forecasts is available by calling 511 from a landline or cell phone, or visiting www.511pa.com before leaving home.
Learn more about Operation Safe Holiday by visiting www.DriveSafePA.org