Point of contact for this press release: Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Winquist, Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Field Operations, telephone number (401) 444-1002
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of Public Safety announces that during the upcoming New Year's holiday period, the Rhode Island State Police will have additional Troopers patrolling the state. The Rhode Island State Police will be stepping up enforcement of driving while impaired, speeding, aggressive driving, texting while driving, seat belt, and child restraint laws. The goal is to make our highways safe to ensure everyone has a happy and memorable New Year. Many of the additional patrols are being funded through the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, Office of Highway Safety.
The holidays are a time for celebration, visiting loved ones, and reflecting on the year past and the year ahead. All too often, the holiday spirit is destroyed by the recklessness of a drunk driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012 there were 10,322 fatal crashes involving a driver with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or higher - 31 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year. The holiday season has proven to be most dangerous time of year to travel our nation's roadways due to impaired operators.
An increase in the volume of traffic during the New Year's holiday period is expected on highways across the state. Motorists are urged to immediately report dangerous drivers or hazardous road conditions to the State Police by dialing *77 or 911 on their cellular phones. There is no charge for these calls which greatly assist our efforts to protect the citizens and visitors of Rhode Island. The call you make may save a life.
The Rhode Island State Police requests the following assistance and cooperation from all motorists:
• Please obey all motor vehicle laws
• Don't drink and drive
• Be patient, and allow extra time for delays that may occur due to holiday traffic
• Pay attention to road and weather conditions and adjust driving accordingly
• Buckle up. It's the law and will be strictly enforced during this holiday period.
Colonel O'Donnell is urging all motorists to help reduce injuries and the tragic loss of lives on our highways by buckling up and driving responsibly.