Rick Smith, Chief of Police
1 Union St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Wakefield Police Remind Residents to Travel Safely This Holiday Season
WAKEFIELD — As a record number of drivers prepare to hit the road for Thanksgiving, Chief Rick Smith and the Wakefield Police Department are reminding residents to travel safely this holiday season and to never drink and drive.
“Our number one priority is that our residents stay safe during the Thanksgiving holiday,” Chief Smith said. “This means everyone needs to buckle up and remain attentive while at the wheel. Never drink and drive, and never get into the car with someone who has been drinking.”
The most recent nationwide stats available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that a total of 341 people died in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving Holiday period in 2014, and 50 percent of those killed were not wearing a seat belt.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 40 percent of traffic fatalities that occur 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 Smith offers the following safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Buckle Up, Drive Sober and Pay Attention
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Never drive while intoxicated or if distracted. In every state, it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Do not text while driving and always keep both hands on the wheel.
- 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 see anyone with an alcoholic beverage, or if a person smells of alcohol, do not get into the car or let that 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 Wakefield Police Department at 781-245-1212.