As we approach the July 4th weekend, those looking to celebrate are reminded to do so responsibly.
A new traffic safety initiative, the Zero Fatalities Program, is pushing a “Save Yourself” campaign and putting the spotlight on educating drivers on the dangers of impaired driving — the top cause of fatal crashes in Nevada — whether it’s caused by alcohol or marijuana.
“It’s still something we face and it hasn’t gotten better,” said Andrew Bennett, Zero Fatalities spokesman. “We continue to go in the wrong direction.”
This marks the first time the Department of Public Safety is going on a summer DUI education campaign, Bennett said.
“Unfortunately impaired driving fatalities happen every month of every year,” he said. “As Las Vegas comes back and as we see an increase in travel, we are also seeing an increase of DUIs and DUI-related fatalities. That’s why it’s important that we focus on that now.”
The department is using education and enforcement to drive the no-impaired-driving message home.
“We prefer that education solves the problem,” Bennett said. “We make sure people understand the laws, whether they’re locals or tourists alike. That is if you drive impaired you will get a DUI. If education doesn’t do it, then it’s time for enforcement. You’ll see a renewed push for the DUI Strike Team through the summer months.”
Bennett said to expect a major DUI Strike Team push over the Independence Day weekend and through the end of the summer.
In 2018, the latest crash data available, impairment accounted for 54 percent of crashes in the state, Bennett said.
“What is so disheartening about this ongoing trend is that driving while impaired is a choice everyone makes before they get behind the wheel – they choose to put themselves and others in danger,” Bennett said. “It