VSP says drive responsibly this holiday season

Published 12:00 pm Friday, December 24, 2021

The holidays are a time to spend with loved ones, and even though this year’s celebrations will continue to look a little different, one thing will never change – driving responsibly means everyone can get home for the holidays safely.

“Virginia is on pace to have more fatal crashes in 2021 than in 2020, which was, unfortunately, a record breaking year. But, I have faith that Virginians will do the right thing this holiday season,” said Superintendent of Virginia State Police Colonel Gary T. Settle. “During Thanksgiving, Virginia saw a record low number of fatal crashes – the lowest in more than a decade. Virginians proved that they know what to do and how to be responsible on the roadways. Let’s keep the momentum going through the New Year and start 2022 off on the right foot.”

Virginia State Police is urging every motorist on the road this holiday season to be responsible, obey the traffic laws, ditch distractions and wear a seat belt. Whether heading to the grocery store or the post office, delivering gifts to family and friends or celebrating the New Year, choose to do it safely and do it responsibly.

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Every year during the holidays, there is an increase in drunk-driving related fatalities and crashes across the nation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in December 2019, there were 837 lives lost in drunk-driving crashes nationwide.

“Remember, drinking and driving or being impaired in any way is never an option,” says Settle. “Celebrating can mean different things to different people but it should never include driving under the influence of drugs and/ or alcohol.”

Drivers and passengers have many alternatives to arrive home safely. If you plan to attend a party or celebrate with a small group of friends during the holidays, remember to plan ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a friend, call family, call a cab or use public transportation.

If you know someone who has been drinking — do not let them drive. Arrange another safe way home.

Remain alert for impaired drivers and do not hesitate to notify law enforcement by dialing #77 (hands-free only or have a passenger call) to notify your nearest Virginia State Police Emergency Communications Center. Your actions could save someone’s life.