As the Labor Day holiday approaches, the Conway Police Department will be taking part in two campaigns to help curb drunk driving and encourage motorists to wear seat belts.
Conway Police’s involvement in the two programs, the annual nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” and the statewide “Click it or Ticket,” will run from Aug. 16 to Sept. 2.
The department stated in a recent news release that it will aggressively look for drunk drivers and arrest anyone caught doing so.
“Every year, about one-third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more drunk drivers or motorcycle operators,” Sergeant Ben Lackey said in the release.
Lackey said more than 9,800 people died in 2011 in the United States in crashes involving drunk drivers, and that holidays such as Labor Day are “particularly dangerous,” in terms of impaired drivers.
During the 2011 Labor Day weekend, 138 people were killed in traffic accidents, which involved drunk drivers or motorcycle riders, the release states. Research also shows that 83 percent of those fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The department’s involvement in the campaign will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events and national advertising.
“Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement, like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign, reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent,” Chief A.J.Gary said.
Police officers will also use high-visibility enforcement for its involvement with the “Click it or Ticket” campaign.
The release states that the national average of seat belt usages is 86 percent, an all-time high, according to the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics. The release also states the estimated usage range in Conway is 88 percent.
NHTSA statistics show seat belt usage saved almost 12,000 lives nationwide in 2011, the release states.
For more information on the two campaigns, visit http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/.
(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1246. Follow Lee Hogan on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LCD_LeeHogan. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)