WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (November 27, 2019) –
December has been designated as “National Impaired Driving Prevention Month” due to the increased frequency of impaired drivers between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. In fact, this timeframe is currently regarded as the most dangerous season on U.S. roadways.
Vision Zero West Palm Beach encourages you to enjoy the holidays while still following safe driving practices, allowing you to “arrive alive.” As part of this month’s observance, the Vision Zero team reminds citizens:
- DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE: Despite the holiday cheer and festivities, NEVER drive while impaired by alcohol or other substances. Violators over the age of 21 with a blood alcohol level of .08 will be arrested, while underage motorists with a blood alcohol level of .02 will be arrested. Just don't do it!
- ENSURE VEHICLE PREPARATION AHEAD OF YOUR TRAVEL PLANS: Have your vehicle checked prior to traveling. Most mechanic shops offer safety checks for tire treads and air pressure, lights, brakes, cooling systems and other components.
- BUCKLE UP: It is the driver's responsibility to make sure that all passengers are wearing a seat belt. It is required, by law, that children be restrained in approved car seats that are suitable for their size and weight. Children who are under 40 inches in height must be buckled in a car seat that meets federal standards. Children who are 40-50 inches in height and under the age of seven must be in a booster seat. Too many family holidays turn tragic when a crash results in avoidable passenger injuries due to improper restraints.
- ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS: If you must use your cell phone, do so only with a hands-free feature. However, note that cell phone usage of any kind in a school or work zone is now illegal. Never text and drive as it is against the law Florida, as well as other states. Map out your trip ahead of time to avoid the distraction of programming your GPS while driving. Eating, drinking, reading or any other activity done simultaneously while driving is extremely dangerous!
- AVOID DRIVER FATIGUE: Long journeys can be tiring, and driver fatigue is a serious problem that often results in a vehicular accident. Get plenty of sleep before your trip and try to drive during hours that you are normally awake. Take your time and plan for rest stops every few hours. If possible, share the responsibility of driving. If you are driving for an extended period, at least stop for coffee or a quick stretch as often as needed. Remember, drowsy driving kills.
- DO NOT SPEED: Excessive speed cuts down your reaction time to avoid a crash, extends your vehicle’s stopping distance and increases the severity of the crash when it does occur.
- AVOID AGGRESSIVE DRIVING: Always keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. If you find yourself being tailgated, do not hit the brakes. Instead, gradually slow down and let the other vehicle pass you. Do not: change lanes without signaling, violate traffic signals or weave in and out of traffic. Trucks and towing vehicles have slower speed limits. If you are traveling behind a slower vehicle, wait for a passing lane or until you can see clear road ahead of you, providing enough space to safely pass them. Be patient.
- EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED: Watch the traffic around you and always be prepared to react to surprises in the road. Scan ahead for potential hazards, such as road debris or sudden braking by the vehicles ahead of you.
Mayor Keith A. James and the City of West Palm Beach are working to eliminate preventable injuries and fatalities on our roads through the Vision Zero initiative. Adopted unanimously by the City Commission in 2018, this campaign seeks to achieve the vision of zero fatalities on our streets through education, engineering, and enforcement.
For more information about Vision Zero West Palm Beach, please visit www.wpb.org/visionzero
. To speak with someone directly, call (561) 822-2222 (TTY: (800) 855-8771), or email Tara Applebaum, Vision Zero West Palm Beach coordinator, at email@example.com
To learn more about the City’s additional public safety efforts, visit https://wpb.org/Departments/Police-Department/Home