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Lt. Governor Polito with public safety and medical officials.

Lt. Governor Polito at UMass Memorial Medical Center (Photo Credit: Massachusetts State Police)

On June 28, just prior to the long Independence Day weekend, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined the Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to announce a series of education and enforcement campaigns focused on several critical issues: teen driving, bicycle and pedestrian safety, impaired driving and child passenger safety.

“The weekend of July 4th is just around the corner, and more motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians will be on the road than at any other time of the year,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are asking motorists to protect themselves, their loved ones and their fellow citizens this summer by buckling up, properly securing your children, paying attention when you’re behind the wheel, and driving sober.”

The kick-off event was held at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester and was attended by state and local law enforcement, highway safety advocates, and medical representatives from the hospital.

The HSD summer campaigns follow:

Teen Drivers: The “100 Deadliest Days” campaign is aimed at teen drivers and their parents/caregivers. Governor Charlie Baker is featured in a video public service announcement (PSA) that highlights the dangers that inexperience, distraction, impairment and fatigue play in teen crashes. The PSA, which is airing on network affiliates across the state, offers tips to parents on how they can help keep their teen safe during the dangerous summer driving season. Key facts:

  • In 2014, 24 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 died on Massachusetts roads.
  • According to AAA distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate to severe teen crashes.

Watch the longer version HERE.

Bike and Pedestrian Safety: The HSD will provide grants to 71 local police departments for additional enforcement of bicycle and pedestrian laws. Patrols will ensure that drivers are yielding to pedestrians and that vehicles are operating at safe speeds in areas where people walk and bike.

The HSD is also launching an education campaign featuring sidewalk decals on Boston sidewalks and kiosks in high traffic locations. The campaign will also include transit advertising on buses in Boston, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester — the cities with the highest injury and fatality rates in the state. The campaign will remind pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists to use caution when using the roads. Key facts:

  • Massachusetts saw a 26 percent increase in pedestrian deaths from January to June of 2015, compared to the same period the prior year.
  • The trend is continuing into 2016 – Massachusetts witnessed 11 deaths in January alone.

Impaired Driving: The HSD will be launching an adult drunk and drugged driving education campaign that promotes the use of taxis and other transportation options. The campaign includes a 15-second online video ad and sports team sponsorships with the Boston Red Sox, Brockton Rox, Lowell Spinners and the Cape Cod League that will include stadium signage, restroom posters, video screens, PSAs, and on-air announcements urging fans not to drive if impaired. Key facts:

  • In 2014, 154 people died in alcohol related crashes — an 8 percent increase over 2013.
  • Drug related violations have risen 32 percent (1,365-1,803) from 2011 to 2015.

Lt. Governor Polito and other officials urged Massachusetts residents to:

  • Buckle up – all passengers, every trip.
  • Properly restrain children in a car or booster seat.
  • Require children under age 13 to ride in the back seat.
  • Observe posted speed limits.
  • Drive without any kind of impairment.
  • Turn off your phone before you get behind the wheel and pull over if you need to use a hand-held device.
  • Wear a bike helmet.
  • Cross in crosswalks.
  • Be respectful of all road users including bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

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