Extra law enforcement patrols will be out in force in King County this holiday season from today until January 1, 2014 in their efforts to reach the goal of zero traffic deaths. Sadly, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), an average of 49 people died in traffic crashes in Washington between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day from 2008-2012.
“A good reminder as we head into the Holiday season, that Impaired Driving is still the leading cause of death on our roadways,” says Belinda Young from WTSC.
The WTSC offers some important safety tips to remember as we enter this holiday season:
- Call 911 if you see a suspected DUI driver on the roads.
- If you drink, use marijuana, or take other drugs, don’t drive. Make plans before-hand for how you’ll get around.
- If you are hosting a party, make sure your guests get home safely! Plan to have sober designated drivers available. Buy a few extra air mattresses so guests can stay the night. If it’s an office party, limit alcohol, provide shuttle service or book hotel rooms. Remember, as a party host, you are liable for the actions of the people who leave your party intoxicated.
- Talk with your children about alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. Help them understand the ways alcohol and marijuana use can harm their bodies, their brains, and their future. Let them know that they can call you instead of ever getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking, using marijuana or taking drugs.
- Give the best gift of all at the Holiday Season with the Designated Driver Gift Card found online here.
- Addiction is a complex issue. If you or someone you know is dealing with alcohol, marijuana or drug abuse, call the Washington Recovery Help Line at 1 (866) 789-1511 or click here.
The King County Target Zero Task Force is working with law enforcement agencies from other counties to work towards zero traffic deaths this holiday season. They are also participating in this year’s Holiday Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
Remember to be safe this holiday season in Ballard and, using the words of the WTSC, “make sure all the people at your Thanksgiving table are also around to celebrate the New Year.”