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16 die in holiday crashes; none were wearing seat belts

Published June 03. 2010 05:00PM

Sixteen people were killed and 290 others were injured in the 776 crashes investigated by the state police during the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend driving period. Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said none of those who died was wearing a seat belt.

"The tragic message from these statistics is very clear: Everyone needs to buckle up for every trip on the road," Pawlowski said.

The official holiday driving period covered Friday through Monday. During that time, Pawlowski said, troopers cited 924 individuals for not wearing seat belts and issued citations to 105 for not securing children in safety seats.

"Deciding not to wear your own seat belt is a bad choice," Pawlowski said. "But when you fail to secure your children properly in a safety seat, you're playing Russian roulette with their lives."

Pawlowski said troopers also issued 8,096 speeding citations and arrested 371 operators for driving under the influence. He said 70 of the 776 crashes investigated by state police, including two of the fatal crashes, were alcohol-related.

During last year's four-day Memorial Day holiday driving period, nine people died and 309 others were injured in 712 crashes to which state troopers responded.

Pawlowski said the numbers cover only those crashes investigated by state police and do not include statistics on incidents to which other law-enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania responded.

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