In an effort to reduce the number of crashes on New England roadways during the upcoming July 4th Holiday Weekend, the Massachusetts State Police hosted a media event on Friday, June 29, 2007 at State Police Headquarters in Framingham, highlighting the department's participation in Operation C.A.R.E, a national organization. The recognized CARE holiday period . runs from July 3rd through July 8th and it is a Combined Accident Reduction Effort between seven State Police Agencies comprised of all six New England states and the state of New York. This event also kicked off the Drunk Driving Over the Limit Under Arrest mobilization which runs from July 2nd through July 15th.
C.A.R.E. enters its 30th year of operation in 2007. This makes it one of the longest running traffic safety initiatives in our nation's history. Operation C.A.R.E. was formed to deter the three key causes of highway fatalities: speeding, impaired operation and failure to use occupant restraints.
The vision that initiated the Operation C.A.R.E. program was born in the minds of Sergeant Gary Ernst of the Michigan State Police and First Sergeant Gene Neff of the Indiana State Police. Operation C.A.R.E. was formed as a multi-jurisdictional program of patrol, enforcement, and planning activities committed to the goal of accident reduction. The first Operation C.A.R.E. weekend was the July 4th holiday weekend in 1977. Today all 50 states, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec are actively involved in C.A.R.E., making it an international traffic safety program.
In 2006, over the 4 th of July Holiday period, the Commonwealth lost 3 people to fatal crashes on our highways as well as numerous injuries sustained due to impaired operation.
Colonel Mark F. Delaney was on hand to discuss what the Massachusetts State Police will be doing to reduce traffic crashes through the holiday period. "No matter where you travel in the Commonwealth, State and local police will be out in force looking for impaired drivers, aggressive drivers and those who aren't buckled up", said Colonel Delaney. Standing next to representatives of all six New England states and New York, he went on to say, "that commitment is shared by State Police throughout the northeast".
Thanks to funding provided by the Executive Office of Public Safety, the Massachusetts State Police will have 460 additional dedicated patrols that will be focusing on impaired driving during the Drunk Driving Over the Limit Under Arrest campaign.
During the media event, members of the media were invited to participate in discussions and demonstrations on traffic safety measures and safe driving practices. The State Police Traffic Programs Section conducted demonstrations utilizing their roll over simulator which demonstrates the effects of not wearing a safety belt when involved in a motor vehicle rollover. Members of the media were also given a tour of the B.A.T. (Breath Alcohol Testing) Mobile, the State Police Command Post and a "fatal vision goggles" demonstration. The 40-foot-long B.A.T. mobile can travel to sobriety checkpoints anywhere in the Commonwealth and provide lighting, video taping and a place to process the impaired driver on site; in short, it is a mobile police station. The new tool was funded through a $378,000 Governor's Highway Safety Bureau grant along with $80,000 in State Police funds. The State Police are currently in the process of acquiring a second B.A.T. Mobile. State and local police will hold 6 joint sobriety checkpoints using the B.A.T. mobile primarily during " Drunk Driving, Over the Limit Under Arrest" mobilizations around the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends.
Photographs of the event were taken at today's event by Trooper Sean Murphy of State Police Media Services.