(WHTM) — State officials are expecting more travel over the July 4th weekend, on the water and on the roads. They are giving people safety reminders, trying to avoid serious crashes and injuries this year.
A major reminder is don’t drink and drive. PennDOT officials said six people died in alcohol-related crashes over the July 4th holiday in 2021.
“Never, ever drink and operate a boat or a motor vehicle,” Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commissioner Richard Lewis said.
Ahead of independence day, he and other officials are trying to help people celebrate safely.
“If you’re boating wear a life jacket, if you’re driving, wear your seatbelt,” Lewis said.
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DCNR officials said 80 percent of boating fatalities happen because boaters are not wearing life jackets. Alcohol is another major factor.
“We’re looking at people who just ignore the counsel and advice,” Lewis said.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, PennDOT and other state agencies are working together to crack down on boating and driving while drunk.
“We’re working closely with our partners in law enforcement to reduce impaired driving,” DCNR ranger operations specialist Brian Price said.
“Our troopers will be on patrol looking for aggressive drivers and impaired drivers,” PSP Troop H commander Captain Mark Magyar said.
With more cars and emergency vehicles expected on the roads, State Police troopers are also reminding drivers to keep emergency responders safe
“The move over law requires drivers approaching an emergency response area to move over to a lane farther away,” Magyar said.
Officials said they want people to remember decisions like driving drunk do not just affect them.
“If they would just think of the tragedy they might cause to other people, maybe they might think differently,” Lewis said.
Officials also emphasized safety at state parks and trails and for people using ATVs. Again, they asked people to avoid alcohol and make smart decisions.