Safe Family Travel Enforcement
The Thanksgiving holiday period is one of the busiest travel times of the year – making it a potentially more dangerous time for collisions to occur. In an effort to help save lives on Indiana roadways this Thanksgiving, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and the Governor’s Council on Impaired & Dangerous Driving from November 16 – December 2, will support a statewide blitz known as Safe Family Travel.
Safe Family Travel is an annual enforcement effort that uses high-visibility patrols to deter impaired driving and increase seatbelt use among all motorists. The effort is conducted by more than 250 state and local law enforcement agencies that receive federal highway safety funding from ICJI.
During this 16-day blitz, Indiana law enforcement officers will work thousands of overtime hours - day and night, to ensure that motorists are driving responsibly and traveling safely on the state’s roadways.
- Thanks to Indiana’s primary seatbelt law, safety conscious motorists, the notoriety of “Click It or Ticket” and other traffic safety efforts designed to increase the rate of motorists buckling up - Indiana is currently reporting a record seatbelt usage rate of 93.6 percent!
- In 2011, there were 476 alcohol-related collisions in Indiana during the month of November, resulting in five fatalities. Additionally, there were a total of 235 alcohol-related injuries and 32 serious bodily injuries also reported during the month of November (2011).
- During the same month, there were 415 collisions reporting non-restraint use, resulting in 12 fatalities. Additionally, there were 476 injuries and 68 serious bodily injuries reported during the month of November (2011) that occurred due to non-restraint use.
- In 2011, impaired driving fatalities were most common on local/city roads in Indiana.
- Motorcycle and mopeds had the highest rates of alcohol-impaired driving crashes of any vehicle class.
Young Adults and Men Most At Risk
- Young adult males are among those at greatest risk for driving impaired. During November 2011, male drivers 21 to 44 years old were involved in alcohol-related collisions at a higher percentage than any other age group.
- Young adult males are among those at greatest risk for non-restraint use. During November 2011, male drivers 16 to 20 years old and 25 to 34 years old were involved in non-restraint collisions at a higher percentage than any other age group.
- In 2011, there were 5,191 children ages 0-15 involved in collisions resulting in 3,951 reported injuries and 38 fatalities.
- Indiana’s child restraint law requires children ride properly restrained in the appropriate child restraint until their 8th birthday. An appropriate restraint can include a belt positioning booster seat.
- From 8 years to 16 years children should ride in the appropriate child restraint or vehicle seatbelt - in all seating positions of the vehicle.
- Children are safer in a belt positioning booster until they outgrow it. This occurs approximately around 10 years of age, 100 lbs, and 4’9” tall.
- Children under the age of 13 years should ride in the back seat.
- Four out of five child restraints are not used properly. Incorrect use or misuse can cause injury or death to a child in a motor vehicle crash.
- There are certified child passenger safety technicians and permanent fitting stations across the state that can provide education on the proper use and installation of child restraints.
- To access a permanent fitting station, call 1-800-KID-N-CAR or visit http://preventinjury.org/
- Project LOVE (Law Officer Voucher & Enforcement) is a program designed for law enforcement to save children from serious injury and death in motor vehicle crashes by providing a family with resources to obtain education on the proper use of a child restraint. Child restraints are also provided if the family meets low income eligibility requirements.
Break the Law, Face the Consequences
- During the Safe Family Travel enforcement effort, law enforcement will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers and unrestrained motorists – including those motorists carrying child passengers.
- If you break the law, you face jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.
- Law enforcement will have zero tolerance for those who don’t obey the law. If you choose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses. If you choose to not buckle you and your passengers in the proper restraints, you will receive a ticket.
- It is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.
- Refusing to take an alcohol breath test in many jurisdictions may result in the loss of your license on the spot and enhanced penalties, not to mention that having to inform family, friends, and your employer that you lost your license will add to your embarrassment and humiliation.
Three Simple Ways to Prevent a Tragedy
- Plan ahead. If you will be drinking this holiday, do not drive. Designate a sober driver or arrange another safe way home.
- Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
- Remember to always buckle up (yourself and your child passengers). When used properly, seatbelts are still the best defense in a crash.
“Safe Family Travel” is supported by federal highway safety funding awarded to ICJI’s Traffic Safety division from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The mobilization is reinforced by a paid, statewide advertising campaign and additional public outreach efforts aimed at increasing the regular use of seatbelts among all passengers and reducing the number of impaired driving collisions on Indiana’s roadways.