Drive safely this holiday season: Authorities emphasize the dangers of impaired driving

In a collaborative effort to ensure safe roadways during the holiday season, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation District 5, together with the City of Reading Police Department and the Highway Safety Network, held a press event Thursday morning at Reading’s Christmas on the Mountain.

The focus of the event was on reminding motorists of the importance of responsible driving practices, especially refraining from impaired driving, during the holidays.

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Sergeant Melville Fegley, Community Response Coordinator for the Reading Police Department, highlighted the primary concerns for the department during this time, stating, “Our biggest concern this time of year is alcohol-related crashes because when a bunch of people get together and hang out having fun, drinking is often a part of that.” Sgt. Fegley also expressed worry about pedestrian crashes, emphasizing the increased risk due to the presence of numerous juveniles enjoying their school break.

“People have many options these days, including ride-share programs or riding with a designated driver,” Sgt. Fegley advised when questioned about preventing drunk driving. He stressed the importance of prioritizing safety over convenience, stating, “It might cost a couple of dollars, but it’s worth your life. It’s not worth your family members losing a loved one just because you thought you could get home in five minutes.”

In response to the question of reporting possible impaired drivers, Sgt. Fegley encouraged the public to act promptly. “Call 911 or our nonemergency number at 610-655-6116. Get as much information as you can— the type of car, color, license plate, and location.” He explained that even if law enforcement doesn’t intervene immediately, the provided details can assist in investigating incidents later, using street cameras and Ring cameras to establish a timeline and backtrack.

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As the holiday season approaches and festivities bring people together, authorities urge motorists to celebrate responsibly, ensuring a safer and joyous environment for everyone on the roads.

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Jason Hugg
Jason Hugg
Editor and photographer at Berks Weekly.
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