WATERBURY, Vt. – In an effort to reduce the number of crashes and impaired drivers on State highways, the Vermont State Police began participating in "Operation Sober Summer" over the July 4th holiday weekend.
The data-driven campaign meant an increase in driver safety police enforcement, including the implementation of saturation patrols and checkpoints in areas known for a high number of vehicular crashes throughout the state.
In June, there were 26 deaths in 25 crashes on Vermont roadways patrolled by state police. The number is an increase from the 21 fatalities in 2011, which was the lowest total number of crash fatalities since 1944.
Following the July 3 to July 7 weekend, police said the state experienced no highway fatalities for the areas covered by the Vermont State Police.
"We've made great strides saving lives through enforcement, education, engineering safer roads and an improved ability to render medical aid immediately following a crash," said Lt. Michael Macarilla, Vermont State Police Traffic Safety Commander. "However we have to work harder and more effectively in working towards zero deaths on Vermont roadways. "
In total, Vermont State Police recorded zero crash fatalities, 12 alcohol-related crashes, 37 total crashes, 23 DUI arrests, 646 speeding violations, three child passenger tickets, four child passenger warnings, 20 seat belt tickets, five seat belt warnings and 71 assisted motorists over the holiday period.
Police say the public can expect to continue to see more troopers working "Operation Sober Summer" patrols in areas identified as having higher impaired driving rates.