PennDOT Reminds Motorists, Pedestrians to Stay Safe During Upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), yesterday urged residents to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day.

Saint Patrick’s Day is known as a time to honor the Irish heritage shared by many, but it has also become known for the prevalence of alcohol consumption and impaired drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also notes that Saint Patrick’s Day can be one of the most dangerous times to be on the road due to the number of impaired drivers.

According to preliminary PennDOT data, there were 585 alcohol-related crashes the weekend before Saint Patrick’s Day in 2015. Those crashes resulted in six fatalities.

PennDOT reminds motorists that buzzed driving is drunk driving, and, despite the myths, only time can help an impaired person become sober. Those planning to celebrate should arrange their trip home before having their first drink. All are urged to designate a sober driver, call for a taxi, or check on the availability of public transportation. Additionally, the NHTSA SaferRide App is available for free download. It helps users call a friend, reach a taxi service, and determine their current location.

Pedestrians are not immune to the dangers of DUI. Parade goers and pub crawl participants should also maintain safe pedestrian habits, like keeping an eye out for cars, using provided sidewalks and crosswalks, and obeying street signs.

For more on information impaired driving and pedestrian safety, visit JustDrivePA.org.

For regional PennDOT updates, follow 511PAErie on Twitter.


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