NOW UNDER WAY: State Police step up highway enforcement during holiday weekend

The Connecticut State Police will have an increased presence and visibility over the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend, focusing on drunk drivers as well as aggressive and unsafe drivers.

Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) will be in effect from late Tuesday, Nov. 25 through Monday, Dec. 1 at midnight. The goal is to enhance public safety, enforcement and visibility on state roads and highways during the peak holiday travel season.

Normal routine patrol personnel will be supplemented with additional troopers, and sobriety checkpoints and roving DUI patrols will be set up. Troopers also will conduct safety spot checks at sobriety checkpoints to further enhance the safety of the roadways.

Use extra caution

“I urge residents to use extra caution while out on the road, meaning don’t follow too closely to the vehicle in front of you, slow down, don’t use your cell phone while driving, and if you drink, please don’t drive,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.

“If you see a driver that you believe to be driving impaired, please call 9-1-1 immediately," he said.

Dora B. Schriro, commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection that oversees the State Police, noted that Thanksgiving evening and day are the busiest traffic days of the year.

“As law enforcement does its part in keeping our roads and highways safe, we ask you to do yours by exercising caution and driving safely,” Schriro said.

Enforcement statistics

The following are enforcement statistics, most representing the number of tickets or citations, from the 2013 Operation CARE enforcement campaign during the Thanksgiving period by the State Police in Connecticut:

— Speeding:  1,134

— Seatbelt:  170

— DWI:   43

— Hazardous moving violations:  2,548

— Accidents:  562

— Accidents with injuries:  92

— Fatalities:  1