Decatur County Traffic Safety Partnership conducting “full-court press” in March

.Decatur County Traffic Safety Partnership (TSP) today announced that Deputies and Officers will be cracking down on dangerous and impaired driving in March, as part of a statewide enforcement campaign. From February 26th through March 21, 2021, officers will be conducting high visibility patrols showing zero tolerance for those driving aggressively, over the speed limit or under the influence.
The overtime patrols are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through an Indiana Criminal Justice Institute grant. “Dangerous and impaired driving continues to be a problem, especially around high-risk events like St.
Patrick’s Day and the NCAA Tournament,” said Chief Brendan Bridges. “However, you celebrate this year, do so responsibly. Slow down, buckle up and if you drink do not drive. It’s that simple.”
According to the NHTSA, drunk-driving crashes on average claim more than 10,000 lives per year in the United States. Although the year 2020 was a unique due to the pandemic, preliminary data from the
federal safety agency shows that while miles traveled had decreased by about 14.5 percent in the first nine months the overall traffic fatalities increased by 4.6 percent nationwide.
In addition, a separate report released from the NHTSA revealed that more road users engaged in risky behaviors in the year of 2020. This includes speeding and driving under the influence where fewer motorists wore seat belts. According to the ICJI, the year 2020 was the third highest year for traffic fatalities (850), despite having fewer drivers on the road in Indiana.
“We’re seeing an uptick in dangerous driving during the pandemic and it’s very concerning,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “That’s why we’re pulling out all the stops this March to reverse that
trend and encourage safe driving behavior. Preventing loss of life is our top priority.” Dangerous driving includes speeding, tailgating, and disregarding a traffic signal – all of which are against the law in Indiana. Additionally, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of
.08 or higher. Drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to one year.
To avoid the potential for legal fees and criminal charges, the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office recommends following these simple steps:
• Slow down and follow all posted speed limits signs.
• Never drive impaired. If you plan on drinking, plan for a safe and sober ride home.
• Do not tailgate or drive aggressively.
• Put down the phone and avoid distracted driving.
• Buckle up – every trip, every time.

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