St. Patrick’s Day Can Be Deadly for Drivers
St. Patrick's Day can be a deadly time for motorists on New Jersey's roadways.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving a drunk driver during the St. Patrick's Day holiday from 2006 to 2010.
Traffic safety officials are especially concerned with this year's holiday since it falls on a weekend.
"We are expecting a lot of folks to overindulge, and we're hoping that those folks are smart enough not to get behind the wheel," said Tracy Noble, a spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Noble said it's important for people to plan ahead before the celebrations begin.
"If you are hosting a party, take the keys off your guests if they are impaired. If you are going to a party, plan ahead and designate a driver, use mass transportation or call a taxi."
Noble says New Jersey drivers can help keep the roads safe from drunk drivers by calling their local law enforcement agency or pressing #77 on their cell phone to report dangerous drivers. "It's a tool to report aggressive driving or erratic behavior on the roadways."
Signs a driver is impaired include:
- Signaling inconsistent with driving
- Crossing the centerline
- Accelerating and braking erratically
- Making wider turns than necessary
- Weaving, swerving, or drifting between lanes and the sides of the roads
Officials will need to know what you saw and a description of the vehicle, including it's color, model, license number and any distinguishing marks.