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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Millman Launch You Drink & Drive. You Lose Mobilization And National Sobriety Checkpoint Week, June 28-July 5

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater, Rosalyn G. Millman

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Millman Launch You Drink & Drive. You Lose Mobilization And National Sobriety Checkpoint Week, June 28-July 5

NHTSA
June 29, 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 29, 2000
Contact: Kathryn Henry
Telephone: 202-366-9550
DOT 124-00

With the long Fourth of July holiday weekend approaching, Rosalyn G. Millman, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), was joined by national, state and local leaders in launching a nationwide law enforcement mobilization and education campaign to combat impaired driving.

The stepped-up law enforcement effort is part of the national You Drink & Drive. You Lose campaign and National Sobriety Checkpoint Week, designated June 28 through July 5 by NHTSA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Nationwide Insurance.

A Safety is President Clinton and Vice President Gore's highest transportation priority,'said U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater. "National Sobriety Checkpoint Week is an important step toward preventing alcohol-related traffic crashes. A strong message and tough state laws are bringing about an important change in society’s attitudes toward impaired driving, but we must continue our efforts to reduce the number of these crashes and the tragedies associated with them. Holidays are for family and celebration, but it's important to arrive at your destination safely. Don't drink and drive, and always wear a seat belt. Also, don’t forget to buckle children in an appropriate child safety seat in the back seat.

During National Sobriety Checkpoint Week, thousands of law enforcement officers in all 50 states will be using the most effective weapons in the war on impaired driving: sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols. Checkpoints and patrols are law enforcement strategies in which police either set up stationary locations or establish areas to concentrate their presence in order to detect impaired drivers.

"High-visibility enforcement is the cornerstone of National Sobriety Checkpoint Week. Sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols provide law enforcement officials with effective tools for removing impaired drivers from our roads and highways," said Deputy Administrator Millman.

In 1998, 478 people were killed in traffic crashes during the Fourth of July weekend, and nearly half of the deaths were in alcohol-related crashes. In 1999, alcohol-related crashes dropped to 38 percent of all traffic fatalities, an all-time low.

But despite this progress, every 33 minutes someone in America dies as a result of impaired driving. Enforcement authorities across the nation will crack down on all impaired drivers, regardless of the type of vehicle they are driving.

The risk of serious injury or death is particularly acute for motorcycle riders who choose to ride impaired. Motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes have higher intoxication rates than any other type of motor vehicle. Almost half the riders killed in single-vehicle crashes are intoxicated. Motorcycle riders killed in nighttime crashes are three times as likely to be intoxicated as those who are killed during the day.

As part of a national strategy to reduce impaired driving crashes, the Department of Transportation has set a goal of reducing alcohol-related fatalities to no more than 11,000 by 2005. Last year, an estimated 15,794 people died in crashes involving alcohol.

The You Drink & Drive. You Lose campaign, launched in December 1999, is a comprehensive program to prevent impaired driving. States and communities can use this program to save lives and reach the national goal of no more than 11,000 alcohol-related fatalities a year.

For more information on National Sobriety Checkpoint Week, and the You Drink & Drive. You Lose campaign, visit NHTSA's website at "http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

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