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DPS urging those traveling this Thanksgiving holiday to drive safely and buckle up

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 -

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Those hitting the road this Thanksgiving holiday to travel on state highways in Arizona can expect heavy traffic as well as Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officers on patrol. DPS Officer’s will be on the look out for impaired, reckless and aggressive drivers along with un-restrained adults and children.

“A moment of carelessness or recklessness behind the wheel can cause a lifetime of regret,” said DPS Director Roger Vanderpool. “We want all those traveling this holiday to get where they are going safely and return home likewise. Buckle up, be patient, slow down, and drive sober.”

During the Thanksgiving holiday last year, Wednesday through Sunday, DPS Officers investigated 390 collisions, including 110 that involved injuries and one that resulted in a fatality. The rest involved no injuries. The fatal collision was the result of an impatient motorist who moved into the opposing traffic lane to pass another vehicle and collided head-on with a motorcyclist, killing him. During the same Thanksgiving holiday period last year, DPS Officers made 15,202 traffic stops issuing 3,336 speeding citations, 1,120 citations for hazardous violations, 3,325 for non-hazardous violations, 90 child restraint citations, 398 seat belt citations, and 10,828 warnings and repair orders. DPS Officers also arrested 127 people for DUI and 22 for DUI drugs during this same time period.

“Some folks have the selfish need to push their way through traffic by driving aggressively and endangering not only themselves and their passengers but many others on the road too,” said Director Vanderpool. “If you see aggressive or possibly impaired drivers please call 9-1-1 rather than engage in road rage. Our DPS Officers will be more than happy to locate and stop the reckless or impaired driver.”

DPS is participating in Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), which is a nationwide effort to reduce fatalities and serious injury collisions by the nation’s highway patrol and state police agencies on major interstate highways during holiday weekends.

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The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.