The Reading Police Department has received a grant from the Massachusetts Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) to increase impaired driving patrols in an effort to save lives. The additional enforcement is part of the state’s participation in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign and is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The campaign, which runs from August 12 through Labor Day, will include Massachusetts State Police and over 145 local police departments.
“Keeping impaired drivers off the roads is our priority as we head into the Labor Day Weekend,” said Sergeant John T McKenna of the Reading Police Department. “If you’re going to celebrate, plan for a sober ride home – and if you see a drunk driver, call us.”
“We lost 133 people in crashes involving a driver who was over the legal limit of intoxication in Massachusetts in 2014,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the Highway Safety Division. “The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is both an educational campaign and an enforcement effort to promote sober driving. With so many safe alternatives to driving impaired – ride sharing or taxi service, the MBTA, and designated drivers – there’s no excuse not to plan ahead how you will get home safely.”
According to NHTSA, on average, more than 10,000 people died each year between 2010 to 2014 in drunk-driving crashes across the country. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday weekend, 40 percent of the fatalities in traffic crashes involved drunk drivers — the highest percentage during the five-year period from 2010 to 2014.