HENDERSON – Henderson Police Department’s winter holiday traffic enforcement effort starting this weekend is aiming to prevent tragedies caused by drunk drivers.
The Henderson Police Department’s Traffic Unit will be joined by other area law enforcement agencies to search out the Valley’s roadways for drunk drivers over the upcoming holiday and through New Year’s Eve. Officers will use saturation patrols looking for drunken drivers.
Last year, 9,878 people were killed in drunken driving crashes, including 395 during the second half of December alone, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“With so many people on the roadways and so many celebrations, the holiday season can be an especially dangerous time on our valley’s roadways due to drunk drivers,” Henderson Police Chief Patrick Moers said. “We urge everyone to plan ahead for a sober ride home to ensure a happy holiday free from tragedy.”
In 2011, 246 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes on Nevada roadways. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 74 of those deaths, according to the Nevada Department of Public Safety – Office of Traffic Safety. So far this year, 231 people have died on the state’s roadways with alcohol being a factor in 42 of those deaths.
The Henderson Police Traffic Unit received funding from the Department of Public Safety - Office of Traffic Safety, as part of the Joining Forces Grant. The grant provides funding for enforcement and education to reduce deaths and injuries on Nevada roadways. The grant will assist in funding special enforcement details throughout the year targeting seat belt usage, DUIs, pedestrian safety and speeding violations.
Henderson Police and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offer this safety advice:
•Plan ahead. If you will be drinking, do not drive. Designate a sober driver or arrange another safe way home.
•If you are impaired, find another way home. Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, use public transportation or contact your local sober ride program.
•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.
-- From news release