Traffic Enforcement Ramps Up During Holiday Season
Troopers from all over New England want to help local drivers stay safe and prevent crashes during the holiday season.
Many residents will be traveling this week to see family and friends across New England.
Massachusetts State Police said Monday they will help ensure impaired or distracted driving doesn't end these visits tragically.
The Massachusetts State Police joined forces with other New England State Police divisions at headquarters in Framingham to explain their Combined Accident Reduction Effort (CARE) program.
Increased patrols this week will be cracking down on impaired/drunk driving, texting while driving and seatbelt law violations, among other issues.
"We aren't trying to discourage people from going out and enjoying themselves," Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy P. Alben said.
"We just want to make sure they are being safe and responsible."
The C.A.R.E program is a joint venture helping troopers keep an eye on incidents in the area, especially as motorists can easily travel between the small New England states.
"We want to make this a holiday season where no one is seriously injured or killed in a crash. That will truly be something to be thankful for," Alben said.
In New Hampshire, state police this year have already dealt with 94 deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
New Hampshire State Police Capt. John LeLacheur said the stepped-up patrols are an effort to keep that number under 100 for the year.
"Last year we had 13 deaths between Thanksgiving and New Year's," LeLaucher said.
"In the past, we've noticed mid-week spikes late in December when offices are having Christmas parties, so those times will be enforced more on the roads."
According to LeLaucher, many of the crashes happen on smaller secondary roads.
Capt. Karen Pinch of the Rhode Island State Police said her department will nearly double its patrols during the holiday season.
Pinch also said they have stepped up their enforcement and have issued more citations for distracted driving and seatbelt violations than last year.
"Traffic enforcement remains the single most effective tool in detecting and diminishing criminal activity," Vermont State Police Lt. John Flannigan added.