The weekend before Halloween has come and gone, but the festivities are far from over. Ahead of Oct. 31, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Connecticut State Police are reminding state residents to remember safety as their top priority.
CTDOT’s main safety concern does not involve candy or costumes, but drunk drivers.
“October historically is the worst month for pedestrian fatalities,” CTDOT spokesman Josh Morgan told WTNH News 8 in New Haven.
“These aren’t just stats, they are human lives and it’s why we are really stressing the need for motorists to slow down, pay attention and drive sober,” Morgan said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is consistently ranked as one of the top three days of the year for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. The NHTSA has also reported that over 40% of Halloween crash fatalities involve drunk drivers.
While drunk driving is common across the nation, it is especially prevalent in Connecticut.
“We are perennially in the top three nationally for drunk driving fatalities and need to reverse that trend. There is a drunk driving problem in Connecticut, and we are taking steps to make our roadways safer for everyone,” said CTDOT Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto in a Sept. 29 press release.
The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection and the Connecticut State Police are also emphasizing safety this year, having put out a joint press release on Oct. 27.
In the press release, Connecticut State Police officers encourage Connecticut residents to exercise safe driving practices, urging residents to “be aware of pedestrians on Halloween night. Drive cautiously and obey all traffic laws on Halloween and every day. Be aware of children who may be running from house to house. This is a fun and scary night, but safety must come first!”
According to the Oct. 27 statement, both state and local police officers will be out on Halloween to keep residents safe throughout Connecticut.
These safety concerns come amidst multiple drunk driving reduction campaigns across the state. CTDOT joined the Driven to Protect Initiative in September, which seeks to develop Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) technology so it can be installed into CTDOT vehicles.
According to a Sept. 29 press release from CTDOT, “The DADSS system is designed to reliably, accurately, and passively detect if a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is at or above the legal limit and prevent the vehicle from moving.”
Other recent drunk driving reduction campaigns include the Connecticut trauma team’s “Not One More” and CTDOT’s “Nip Responsibly,” which urge motorists to stay sober and not litter empty nip bottles of alcohol.