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Released: 8/17/2009 

DRPA Police Force Joins National Public Safety Campaign

Police Officers from the Delaware River Port Authority will be cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” 2009 Statewide Crackdown. Beginning August 21st and running through September 7th, local and state police will conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, looking for drivers who may be driving while intoxicated. 

A concentrated national effort, the campaign helps to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high visibility enforcement and public education tools, including posters, banners and mobile video display signs. Special variable message signs will be located at all four DRPA bridges. Launched nationally in 1999, the program works to combat drunk driving during some of the busiest travel times of the year. 

DRPA CEO, John J. Matheussen, says “This is a critical law enforcement program that is designed to save lives. Our goal is simple, to keep our bridges safe for our customers.” 

DRPA Police Chief, David McClintock, says “This initiative brings attention to not only the serious fines and penalties drunk drivers can face, but also the grave danger those drivers pose to all individuals on the road.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nationally, drunken driving fatalities accounted for 32 percent of all traffic deaths in 2008. Last year in New Jersey, 152 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. That number represents 26 percent of the 590 traffic deaths reported in the state last year. In addition, 56 of those alcohol-related fatalities occurred during the summer travel season. 

Traffic safety experts recommend if someone plans to drink alcoholic beverages they should designate a driver who will not drink alcohol before going out, take mass transit or a taxi home, or, spend the night where the activity is held. 

The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency. DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross Bridges, and PATCO, the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal and the RiverLink Ferry.

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