Area law enforcement pushing holiday travel safety

The Thanksgiving holiday period is one of the busiest travel times of the year. To help save lives on Indiana roadways this Thanksgiving, the Huntington County Sheriff's Department, Huntington Police Department and Warren Police Department are all participating in a statewide blitz known as Safe Family Travel.

Safe Family Travel is an annual enforcement effort that combines high-visibility seatbelt and impaired driving patrols. Conducted by more than 250 state and local law enforcement agencies that receive federal highway safety funding from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, the effort will run through Dec. 1.

During this blitz, Indiana law enforcement officers will work thousands of overtime hours, day and night, to ensure that motorists are driving responsibly and traveling safely on the state's roadways.

"During this Thanksgiving holiday, many more people are on the road traveling to visit friends and family. So whether you're traveling across the country or just across town, one of the best ways to ensure a safe arrival is to always buckle up, and if you plan to consume alcohol, designate a sober driver," said Sheriff Terry Stoffel.

Huntington Police Chief EJ Carroll added, "Many of the injuries and deaths on Indiana roadways could be prevented if drivers would just plan ahead. That is why I want to caution all drivers that if you are caught not wearing your seatbelt, or you have child passengers who are not properly restrained, you will be stopped and you will receive a ticket. If you are caught driving impaired, we will detect you and ultimately place you under arrest."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent when seat beats are worn correctly.