DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

December 26, 2013

State safety officials offer holiday warning


Derry News

---- — CONCORD – So far this year, there have been 117 fatal crashes on New Hampshire roadways, and 128 people have lost their lives as a result of these crashes.

There is no question that the holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, from shopping for the perfect gift to attending celebrations with family, friends and co-workers.

“Saving lives on New Hampshire roadways is a top priority and we need everyone’s help to do it,” said Col. Robert Quinn of the New Hampshire State Police. “Making the choice to drive a vehicle after you’ve been drinking is not worth the risk of killing yourself or someone else.”

“We are now experiencing winter driving conditions across New Hampshire and that can limit visibility and require slower speeds,” said New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement. “It is extremely important to be alert and aware when driving in winter conditions. Drivers should plan ahead, give themselves extra time to reach their destinations safely, and allow additional room between their vehicles and others because winter road conditions often result in longer stopping distances. Don’t take chances.”

The New Hampshire State Police, as part of the NH Driving Toward Zero Coalition, join with other state, local and county safety organizations in offering these simple tips to help New Hampshire residents enjoy a safe and festive holiday without jeopardizing their own lives and the lives of others.

Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.

If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.

Use your community’s “Sober Rides” program, where available.

If you notice a vehicle operating erratically and suspect an impaired driver, contact law enforcement by calling 911.

If someone you know is about to drive while impaired, take his or her keys and help him or her make arrangements to get home safely.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, but it is important for people to be responsible and to remember that consuming alcohol and driving a vehicle do not mix. It is also important to consider the effects of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and how these substances can also cause impairment, especially when combined with alcoholic beverages.

The New Hampshire State Police and all NH Driving Toward Zero Coalition members ask everyone to be responsible and safe this holiday season, because one death is too many.

New Hampshire Driving Toward Zero is a comprehensive program aimed at reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities resulting from crashes on New Hampshire roadways to zero.

The program is an outgrowth of the state’s 2012 to 2016 Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which outlines strategies for improvement in critical emphasis areas that include impaired and distracted driving, speeding, and vehicle occupant protection. The NH Driving Toward Zero Deaths Coalition comprises members from various public and private agencies and organizations. To learn more, visit nhdrivingtowardzero.com (Facebook: www.facebook.com/nhdtz) (Twitter: @NHDTZ).