|STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2010
The Connecticut State Police today launched the 2010 holiday enforcement program in an attempt to save lives and prevent injury as the Christmas/New Year holiday season approaches. Operation S.A.N.T.A. S-top A-nother N-eedless T-ragic A-ccident is the major holiday accident and injury prevention message from the Connecticut State Police. This combined accident reduction effort (C.A.R.E.) involves all State Police Departments across the U.S. The main focus of the enforcement is on the most frequent causes of accident fatalities; drivers who drive under the influence, who speed, and fail to wear seatbelts
Enhanced DUI and distracted driving and seatbelt enforcement will be constant over entire holiday season. During the month of December traditionally, is the time that many holiday celebrations such as house and office parties take place. Many of these holiday parties may include the consumption of alcohol. Some partygoers will fail to heed the state police warning that mixing alcohol with the operation of any vehicle is unwise, dangerous, and illegal.
The Connecticut State Police have scheduled numerous DUI spot checks and enhanced enforcement operations on the roads and highways all across Connecticut. Public Safety Commissioner James M. Thomas said, “We are trying to save lives and keep all of our roads and highways safe”. “Any amount of alcohol never mixes with driving a vehicle anywhere in our State”.
No one looks forward to spending time in a jail, a hospital or something worse over the holidays. Connecticut State Troopers will do everything we can to keep drunk drivers off the roads. The public is asked to join our effort. Anyone who plans to consume alcohol at any festive event should make plans in advance to have a sober non-drinking driver to bring them home. If anyone sees a “suspected” drunk driver, report it, this is a true emergency DIAL 911.
Seat belt & distracted driving enforcement is an important part of “OPERATION SANTA”. People not wearing seatbelts or talking on cell phones that are involved in a crash will probably be injured. Seatbelts do prevent injuries, keep you secure, and can prevent you from being seriously injured when ejected in a crash. Any distraction while driving is a recipe for disaster.
Dr. Peter Jacoby the Director of the Emergency Department at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury and Dr. Ian Schwartz the Medical Director of Emergency Medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital speaking on behalf of all Connecticut Emergency Department physicians said, “Our E.D. physicians support THE STATE POLICE OPERATION “SANTA” enforcement program. “This is our prescription for survival. We see too many vehicle accident victims in the ED many are seriously injured. Trauma/ED physicians do their best to heal these injuries. Many injuries can be prevented with the simple use of seatbelts and the elimination of alcohol by drivers”.
This year the State Police message is “Don’t make us Your Designated Driver--Our destination is not a pleasant one”. The hope of Troopers this holiday season is that this motto will become the topic of conversation at the office, at the dinner table and at all holiday celebrations.
2009 State Police "Operation SANTA" enforcement and accident stats:
TOTAL ACCIDENTS 281
with injury 35
drunk driving arrests 36
hazardous moving violations 814
These State Police stats are from 12:01a.m. 12/24/09 to 12:00a.m. 12/27/09.
Lt. J. Paul Vance