Law enforcement in Nebraska have stepped up their traffic safety enforcement this August 2013 under two Campaigns: “Back to School” and “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” Both of these campaigns are funded by select grants from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety (NOHS). The goals of both crackdowns are to increase police presence, raise awareness and reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities. Do your part: drive safely around schools and never drink and drive.
THE NEBRASKA OFFICE OF HIGHWAY SAFETY
According to the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety (NOHS) website, the agency is:
Responsible for developing and implementing effective strategies to reduce the state’s traffic-related injury and fatality rates. These strategies may take the form of stand-alone projects, activities, and/or more comprehensive long-term programs. Both traditional and innovative strategies are encouraged and utilized to support the NOHS goals … The NOHS is responsible for the administration of the Federal Highway Safety funds and for facilitating the Highway Safety Programs supported by these funds.
NOHS does many things to assist law enforcement and other agencies reduce vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities.
“BACK TO SCHOOL” CAMPAIGN
Beginning August 18, 2013, through August 30, 2013, the Lincoln Police Department (LPD) will be conducting its annual “Back to School” traffic enforcement project. This project is funded by a grant from NOHS. This funding will allow the placement of additional traffic officers each day around all public and parochial schools in Lincoln. The stated purpose of the “Back to School” project is “traffic and pedestrian safety.”
LPD, in a press release, stated:
Officers will be assigned to watch for all traffic violations, including motorists speeding through school zones, vehicles driving past school bus warning devices (flashing lights with stop arms) and non-compliance with seat belt laws. There will be strict enforcement of the “25 MPH” flashing yellow school zones. Fines over $600 could be levied for speeding violations through a school zone during the times of operation.
Drivers are cautioned to be aware of the flashing yellow lights and obey speed limits around the various elementary and middle schools.
“YOU DRINK & DRIVE. YOU LOSE.” CAMPAIGN
A nationwide “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” Campaign began August 16, 2013, and will run through September 2, 2013. Nebraska law enforcement, including LPD, are taking part in this Campaign through special grants from NOHS. Fred Zwonecheck, Administrator of NOHS, in a memorandum to Nebraska law enforcement agencies about this Campaign, stated, “The key to reducing impaired driving is high visibility enforcement (saturation patrols/ checkpoints). Drivers must perceive a risk of being caught.”
The “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” was created on behalf of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by the Traffic Safety Marketing department. In discussing the campaign the NHTSA stated:
The campaign’s message is a simple one: Make the right choice: don’t drink and drive. Yet, we know that thousands of Americans every year continue to make the wrong choices. Every day hundreds of families and communities experience the tragedy and pain inflicted by impaired drivers. The loss extends beyond fatalities and the impact on families. Everyone pays for impaired driving with higher taxes, higher health care costs and higher insurance premiums.
The purpose of “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” is to help support the hard work already being done nationwide by private and public traffic safety partners. The goal is enhance national awareness about the deadly toll drinking and driving exacts on America’s communities and to generate a greater national urgency to stop the senseless killing and injury on our nation’s highways.
While “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” serves as the voice for reaching Americans with this lifesaving message, it is much more than just a public service advertising campaign. “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” provides the framework for a comprehensive impaired driving prevention program that provides partners with best practices and guidance on how to implement programs that extend beyond traditional efforts, emphasizing that there is no one solution to this national challenge.
While Nebraska may be below the average for alcohol-related crashes, one accident is more than enough. Here are the 2012 crash-related statistics for Nebraska:
- 1,779 alcohol-related vehicle crashes;
- 81 fatal vehicles crashes, resulting in 87 deaths; and
- 9,528 DUI convictions.
LPD, in a press release, stated about the “You Drink & Drive. You Lose” Campaign stated,
[T]he Lincoln (NE) Police Department is coordinating specialized enforcement to protect citizens from impaired driving. From August 16, 2013 through September 2, 2013, extra officers will be conducting high visibility traffic enforcement and will take a zero tolerance approach to drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Officers will also be alert for other traffic and safety violations.
Last year, the Lincoln Police Department … arrested 1,640 drivers in 2012 for driving under the influence.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, another law enforcement agency involved in this Campaign, in their press release stated, “Our goal … is to use additional deputies and saturation patrols to seek out suspected drunk drivers and arrest them; thus, creating safer streets …”
The Nebraska State Patrol, Omaha Police Department and other law enforcement agencies throughout Nebraska will be taking part in the “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” crackdown.
Everyone needs to do their part: drive safely around schools and do not drink and drive. If you do drink arrange for a designated driver or take a cab. Please join the Lincoln Police Department and other Nebraska law enforcement agencies in their efforts to make our roads safer. Drivers who drink, drive distracted or fail to pay attention for children will lose. It may by your license, your vehicle, your life or you may injure or kill an innocent victim.
SOURCES AND RESOURCES
- City of Lincoln Police Department: “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” Crackdown
- Douglas County Sheriff’s Department: “You Drink & Drive, You Lose”
- Nebraska Department of Roads: You Drink & Drive. You Lose” Crackdown packet
- Nebraska Office of Highway Safety: About NOHS?
- Traffic Safety Marketing: Campaigns / Drunk Driving / Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over / National Crackdown / Campaign Materials Fact Sheet / Talking Points
- Lapin Law Offices: Vehicle Accidents Overview
- Lapin Law Offices: Back To School: There and Back Again Safely
- Lapin Law Offices: GHSA Report: Teen Driver Deaths Increased in 2012