Tomorrow is the Fourth of July holiday and many are expected to be traveling the local roads here in Indiana and Illinois to attend parties, to have picnics, to see fireworks displays. However, statistics show (and injury expert experience warns) that there will some innocent victims living today that will die tomorrow as the result of an accident on the roads, wrongful deaths caused in some cases by drunk driving or distracted driving.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
To counter this possibility and keep those tragedies from happening, the federal government via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has its Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign already in place. You can read the details here. Indiana and Illinois are both participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over program tomorrow, July 4, 2012.
Dangerous Driving Enforcement Program by Local Police on Fourth of July
However, since some records have more drunk driving in our area over the Fourth of July than any other holiday, state officials are being very serious this year. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) has issued a news release reporting that the Indiana State Police are joining together with local police departments and law enforcement agencies in neighboring states to implement “Dangerous Driving Enforcement” (DDE).
What does this mean? It means that Indiana and Illinois will see checkpoints set up on the roads tomorrow. And there will be lots more patrol cars driving around, making their presence known. Police will be pulling people over and they will be arresting those drivers that they suspect are driving drunk.
That’s not all. Distracted drivers will be targeted, too. Text while driving, and you’re a named target of law enforcement tomorrow.
“Although enforcement efforts occur in May with Indiana’s “Click It or Ticket” enforcement mobilization, and August with Indiana’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on impaired driving, there traditionally has not been a considerable amount of enforcement occurring during June and July between these blitzes,” said Ryan Klitzsch, Traffic Safety division director at ICJI. “This is a particularly heavy period for fatal crashes, especially motorcycle related crashes. The DDE project now aggressively addresses this problem and will hopefully lead towards a significant drop in deaths and injuries during this time,” Klitzsch continued.
Indiana State Police Will Have Operation C.A.R.E. Active From July 3 – 8, 2012
Governor Mitch Daniels’ office has also issued a public notice that the Indiana State Police will be participating in Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (CARE) from July 3 through July 8. Operation C.A.R.E. puts around 150 added Indiana State Troopers on the Indiana roads during this time period specifically tasked with stopping not only impaired drivers, but “… motorists who speed, follow too closely, make unsafe lane changes, drive aggressively and fail to buckle up or properly restrain their children.”
Preventing Accidents and Crashes Is a Worthy Goal
Personal injury attorneys and their staff members are very aware that people will be injured and killed on the roads during every holiday season, just as doctors and nurses and police officers understand as well. It’s a sad truth about our society today — innocent victims will die because of the carelessness of others who are driving vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or while texting or chatting on their phones, or eating as they drive or otherwise driving in a distracted manner.
It makes for a bittersweet holiday, knowing this will happen to someone out there. However, having these campaigns in place and increasing public awareness of the dangers of driving even after just a couple of beers or while using your phone, even just for a minute, is important. We all need to help spread the word, to keep those wrongful deaths to as low a number as possible.
Have a Happy Fourth of July tomorrow. And remember, don’t text and drive or drink and drive. Stay safe.