During the Thanksgiving holiday travel period millions of people will hit our nation's roads, eager to spend time with family and friends. Here in Vermont we have seen an alarming number of serious injury and fatal motor vehicle crashes so far in 2022 and this year is poised to be one of the deadliest in recent times.
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The unbelted rate for fatal crashes in Vermont is the highest in eight years at 70% unbelted. “This is just unbelievable”, said Lt Allen Fortin, the Highway Safety Coordinator for Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille Counties.
That is why we, members of the Vermont law enforcement family, are asking motorists to drive responsibly. Remember that driving responsibly includes wearing your seat belt, not using your cell phone while driving unless it is hands-free, and not driving after consuming alcohol or any other drugs.
To help spread these important safety messages, we will be conducting a media event on Tuesday, November 22nd at 09:30 AM. This press conference will take place at the Interstate 89 Southbound Rest Area/Welcome Center in Williston. Numerous law enforcement officers from various departments will be on-hand to deliver the plea, “From our family to yours, please do your part to drive safely this Thanksgiving holiday period.” We do not want your Thanksgiving holiday to end in tragedy, please help us spread these important safety messages. Representatives of the VT State Highway Safety Office will also be in attendance at this press conference to discuss highway safety issues and to announce a new outreach effort.
In the theme of From our family to yours, this year officers, deputies, and troopers from the Chittenden County area wanted to also recognizes the people that are not traveling and may be experiencing food insecurity. These police officers have purchased Thanksgiving meals and gift cards which will be given to Feeding Chittenden so they can see that the donations get to families in need.
“Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating gratitude with loved ones, and we want to make sure our community members arrive at their Thanksgiving destinations as safely as possible,” said Paul White, Law Enforcement Liaison with the Vermont State Highway Safety Office. “Whether you’re driving 10 minutes to the Thanksgiving dinner table, or 10 hours, it’s critical that drivers and passengers Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. We want everyone to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, so please, make sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled before you start the car — and that includes children being in the correct car seats, too,” White said.