Kosciusko County Joins State Effort For Safe Driving

WPD Press Release – The Kosciusko County Traffic Safety Partnership announced today they will join efforts with over 250 Indiana state and local law enforcement agencies to increase education and enforcement around dangerous and impaired driving. From March 4 through March 27, 2016, officers across the state will conduct high-visibility patrols specifically designated to identify and intercept those driving aggressively and under the influence. “Between Indiana’s deep-rooted basketball pride and the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, much of Indiana celebrates throughout the month of March,” said First Sergeant Chad Hill of the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department. “Celebrating responsibly is important and our officers will be out in full force to keep those celebrating, safe. So if we see you driving dangerously or find you over the limit, you will be under arrest. Period.”

Increased enforcement during March is a statewide effort supported by federal funding allocated to the Kosciusko County Traffic Safety Partnership from the Traffic Safety division of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). Officers from the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Mentone, Milford, North Webster, Silver Lake, Syracuse, Warsaw, and Winona Lake police departments will work overtime to conduct observational patrols and sobriety checkpoints around the clock. According to ICJI, in March 2015 there were 529 alcohol-related crashes across Indiana, resulting in 214 injuries and five fatalities. Additionally, during the same period, crash reports indicate 1,606 collisions occurred due to dangerous driving, resulting in 332 injuries and four fatalities. Dangerous driving includes such factors as “speed too fast for weather conditions,” “driver distracted,” and “driver asleep or fatigued.”

“Keeping our roadways safe is a priority.” said Warsaw Police Lieutenant, Kip Shuter. “Our dedicated officers who patrol our roadways are the first line of defense. Motorist need to do their part to ensure our roadways are safe by making responsible choices. From watching the basketball tournament action to taking part in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, it’s up to you to be safe and responsible. If you are going to drink, do not drive. It’s that simple.” Accidents resulting from dangerous and impaired driving are preventable.

The Kosciusko County Traffic Safety Partnership and ICJI would like to remind motorists safe driving is as simple as following these easy steps:  Before the celebration begins, plan a safe way home  Do not drive impaired  If you do drink, use a taxi, public transportation, ridesharing service or designate a sober friend or family member, and give them your keys  If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911  If you know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help make arrangements to get them home safely For more information on Indiana’s efforts on impaired driving prevention and enforcement, please visit: http://www.in.gov/cji/2354.htm.