State Police release Thanksgiving stats, which include their search for drunk or aggressive drivers | Connecticut News

MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) – Connecticut State Police have been paying extra attention to roads during the Thanksgiving holiday season.

State police said starting Wednesday, Nov. 24 at midnight and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 28, additional troops were patrolling the roads.

They focused on aggressive drivers, dangerous drivers and drunk drivers.

On Monday morning, they released their final stats for the effort:

  • Service calls: 7,500
  • Speeding: 501
  • Seat belt violations: 118
  • Dangerous lane changes, following too closely, cell phone use: 559
  • Impaired driving arrests: 50
  • Accidents investigated: 543 (43 injured, 0 seriously injured and 1 fatal)

With COVID restrictions lifted or relaxed, state police said they anticipate more travelers on the roads over the holiday long weekend.

WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) – Thanksgiving Day is a week from Thursday, which means the holiday rush is fast approaching.

AAA said 87% of New Englanders have to drive to their destination.

“As always, we rely on all drivers to remember and obey the rules of the road. Be our extra pair of eyes on the highways and call 911 if you spot an emergency,” said Colonel Stavros Mellekas, Commanding Officer from the Connecticut State Police, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.”During this busy long holiday weekend, please take the time to arrive at your destination safely. Check traffic and weather reports before leave the house and be patient as the roads will be filled with other drivers.

Patrol officers said they used traditional and non-traditional patrol cars to observe traffic and issue tickets to reckless and distracted drivers.

In 2020, state police reported receiving 7,181 calls for service, arresting more than 211 drivers for speeding, citing 775 drivers for safety risks, and making 29 impaired driving arrests. They investigated 376 accidents, 7 fatal and 52 injured.

In 2019, state police reported receiving 7,205 calls for service, arresting more than 385 drivers for speeding, citing 1,257 drivers for safety risks, and making 52 impaired driving arrests. They investigated 593 accidents, 2 fatal and 61 injured.

The soldiers said they also had an additional presence at Windsor Locks Bradley International Airport.

AAA said it expects airport travel to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Recent data also showed people were dying faster in car crashes due to speeding, and the numbers were up 16% from the same time last year.

People were driving too fast and texting. With added pandemic stress, soldiers said people were also driving aggressively.

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“People drive very fast. They don’t slow down. They don’t slow down for stop signs,” said Barbara Guglietta, of Wethersfield.

The state Department of Transportation has urged people to be extra careful this season.

As of Nov. 12, officials said 290 traffic-related deaths had occurred in the state. It was a jump from last year, when 257 traffic-related deaths occurred. In 2019, there were 216.

“When they crashed they were dying instead of getting serious injuries. This trend has continued in 2021, where we have excessive reckless speeding on our roads, unacceptable behavior on the roads,” said Garrett Eucalitto, Deputy Commissioner, DOT.

Eucalitto said it was because people were driving too fast or driving impaired. National data showed around 20,000 people died in car crashes in the first half of 2021 alone. That was an 18% jump from last year.

The DOT has urged people to call ride-sharing services such as Uber if they plan to party during the holiday season.

“Ten dollars an Uber ride from [Tuesday] until January 14. Between 5 p.m. and 4 a.m. to encourage people to get a ride. They must use the code “save the night CT,” Eucalitto said.

Officials also said that if people see reckless driving, call 911.

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