For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Merrimac Police Remind Residents to Travel Safely This Holiday Season
MERRIMAC — As Thanksgiving and the busiest travel days of the year are upon us, Chief Eric Shears and the Merrimac Police Department are reminding residents to travel safely and absolutely not to drink and drive.
“This is a time for families and friends to gather and celebrate, and we want to be sure our community is safe,” Chief Shears said. “Please consider these safety tips and remember to never drive if you have been drinking. Police will be vigilant in enforcing drunk driving laws.”
The most recently published data shows that a total of 416 people died in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving Holiday period in 2012, 42 percent of those deaths were caused by crashes involving a drunken driver.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 40 percent of traffic fatalities during the holidays involve a driver who is alcohol-impaired, compared to 31 percent for the rest of the year.
To keep travelers safe, Chief Shears offers the following safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Buckle Up, Drive Sober and Pay Attention
- Never drive drunk or drive distracted. In every state, it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
- Be sure to have a designated driver to ensure that you and your family members are safe at all times in the motor vehicle.
- If you smell or see anyone with an alcoholic beverage, do not get into the car with them or let the person drive.
- Plan your travel and route by checking the weather, road conditions, and traffic. Leave early, if necessary, and allow plenty of time to safely get to your destination.
- Carry items in your vehicle that may prove useful in the event of an emergency or if you get stranded, including: snow shovel, broom, ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, flares/emergency markers, blankets, mobile phone with charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine
- If you become stranded, don’t run your vehicle with the windows up or in an enclosed space for an extended period of time to avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically – just long enough to stay warm.
For additional tips and information please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website or call the Merrimac Police Department at 978-346-8321.