SOURCE: NHTSA

August 26, 2015 17:00 ET

Officials Launch I-80/I-35 Border-to-Border Traffic Safety Initiative

KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwired - Aug 26, 2015) - From Texas to Minnesota, New Jersey to California, motorists travelling on I-80 and I-35 August 28-30 will recognize law enforcement personnel out in full force. That's because, all 16 states impacted by I-35 and I-80 traffic are participating in a Border-to-Border traffic safety initiative. Law enforcement agencies hope their extra presence on these interstates will foster safe driving behaviors and therefore reduce excessive speeding, driver distraction, and impaired driving.

Both I-80 and I-35 have high volumes of traffic, covering over 4,400 miles of roadway, and rank high in traffic crashes with seven of the top 10 states for large truck fatalities encompassing I-80 or I-35. Additionally five years of crash data determines that August is the deadliest month on I-80. From 2009-2013, 92 people were killed on I-80 in the month of August and during the same period, 73 people lost their lives on I-35.

Be Smart. Drive Safe.
"We want to encourage people to drive smart and by that we mean: Drive the speed limit, don't text and drive, drive sober, and buckle up," said Susan DeCourcy, Regional Administrator National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, Region 7.

The I-80/I-35 Border-to-Border Traffic Safety Initiative falls during the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Labor Day mobilization campaign. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is a 20-day, high-visibility campaign designed to curb impaired driving and save lives. During the crackdown, law enforcement partners nationwide will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of driving drunk, coupled with checkpoints and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce the toll of drunk driving.

Nationwide Drunk Driving Fatalities
In 2013, there were 10,076 people killed nationwide in drunk-driving crashes, almost a third of all traffic fatalities. Thirty-eight percent of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend that year involved drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher), amounting to 161 lives lost. More than a quarter (27%) of those fatalities involved drivers with BACs of .15 or higher -- almost twice the illegal per se limit.

Whether you're driving on I-80, I-35 or to the corner grocery, this Labor Day Weekend or anytime, remember Be Smart. Drive Safe.

For more information, visit trafficsafetymarketing.gov

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