Police urge drivers to travel safely this holiday season


SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) — Thursday is expected to be the busiest travel period of the holiday season, and the Rhode Island State Police plan to increase their presence on the roads to monitor traffic and ensure the safety of motorists.

Col. Ann Assumpico and other members of law enforcement said officers will be out in full force throughout the next 11 days, which the AAA Northeast said will be the busiest travel season since 2001.

She said officers will be enforcing all traffic laws, especially laws pertaining to impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding and other behaviors behind the wheel that would put people’s lives at risk.

“We will aggressively seek, arrest and prosecute any and all motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” Assumpico said. “We have zero tolerance for people who choose to drive while impaired, risking death and injury to themselves and everyone else on our roads.”

Assumpico said police are hoping to change a culture of drinking and driving, including powerful messages on highway signs. They said the messages are more important than ever this year, as they expect Rhode Island to see a high volume of traffic due to the state’s location between New York City and Boston.

Officials are asking everyone who is traveling to plan ahead, especially those attending parties leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

“With the holiday season in full swing, I want to remind you that on the road, we are all in this together,” Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti said. “We owe it to each other to drive safely, to be courteous and to never get behind the wheel if we’ve had anything to drink.”

Assumpico said the state has set a goal this year of zero deaths and zero accidents as a result of impaired or distracted driving.

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