2009-11-26 / Local & State

PennDOT Teams Up with DCNR And Game Commission To Promote Seat-belt Use

Effort part of a statewide campaign for the Thanksgiving holiday

As Thanksgiving draws closer, our thoughts turn to that big turkey dinner, grandma’s house and for many Pennsylvania residents, the first day of deer season. An estimated 1 million hunters will head to the woods to bag their buck, many traveling hundreds of miles to get to the perfect hunting spot.

It’s difficult to think of Thanksgiving without anticipating deer season, yet what many people don’t realize is that Thanksgiving and the weekends before and after, leading into bear and deer season, had the highest number of crashes and fatalities of any major holiday last year.

In 2008, during the Thanksgiving holiday period, there were 5,328 crashes with 53 fatalities statewide. In the six counties that make up District 9, there were 213 crashes, resulting in one fatality on state and local roads.

On the first day of deer season, a hunter would never think of entering the woods without an orange hunting vest because it is the first line of defense against being shot by another hunter, yet these same individuals often fail to buckle up knowing that a seat belt is the first line of defense in a car crash.

The statewide Click It or Ticket campaign will take place Nov. 16-30. During this time, state and local police will be on the lookout for folks not buckled up. If a driver is pulled over for another offense, such as speeding, they can be given a second ticket and a second fine for not wearing a seat belt.

PennDOT offers these tips to stay safe during this holiday season:

Always wear your seat belt;

Never drive impaired;

Obey the posted speed limits;

Adapt your driving to weather conditions;

Avoid distractions; and

Watch out for aggressive drivers and avoid the temptation of becoming an aggressive driver.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers these tips to hunters:

Be seen and comply with the fluorescent orange requirements;

Loaded firearms may never be placed in, on or against a motor vehicle;

Do not hunt from your vehicle;

Never shoot wildlife from a public road or right-of-way; and

Always make sure you are at least 25 yards from a roadway before shooting at wildlife.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reminds outdoor enthusiasts of the following:

State Forest roads do not receive winter maintenance – pay attention to changing weather conditions;

Always carry an emergency kit in the vehicle – it should include: a flashlight, extra batteries, blankets, water and non-perishable food;

Be aware that certain areas of state forests are remote with little or no cellphone reception;

Always tell someone where you are planning to go and when you expect to be back;

Carry a compass, GPS, a whistle and a first aid kit;

ATV riders should always wear a helmet and protective eyewear;

Stay on designated ATV trails;

Know the area where you plan to ride;

Carry a map; and

Never ride impaired.

PennDOT together with DCNR and the Game Commission would remind hunters, shoppers and those just going to grandma’s house, to buckle up every trip – every time.

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