WILLISTON VT – Vermont has experienced 57 traffic fatalities so far in 2018.  The Vermont State Police has planned a seat-belt campaign for the Thanksgiving weekend to help ensure Vermont’s roads are safe during this highly traveled period, and throughout the year.

The Vermont State Police will be participating in the national “Buckle Up – Every Trip. Every Time” campaign and Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort) over the holiday period from November 21st to 25th. Operation C.A.R.E. is a national campaign in which police agencies across the United States join in the effort of reducing fatalities on our highways, particularly during national holidays when there’s an increase in the number of motorists on the roadways.

“The Vermont State Police’s priority remains focused on occupant protection, preventing impaired driving, and speed enforcement,” said Vermont State Police Commander of Safety Programs Lt. John Flannigan. “Although Vermont’s safety belt compliance rate is estimated at 89.8 percent, about 69 percent of those killed in traffic collisions so far this year were not properly restrained.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) estimates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.

The Vermont State Police also will have zero tolerance on those who make the reckless decision to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. More than 53 percent of all highway fatalities this year involved substance impairment. “Driving under the influence is entirely preventable,” Lt. Flannigan added. “Think smart and plan a designated driver or alternate transportation beforehand. Let’s make this a safe holiday for everyone.”