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For Immediate Release
May 22, 2014

Lisa Cramb
wedu – For New Hampshire Driving Toward Zero Coalition
603-647-9338 Mobile: 603-867-5177
[email protected]

Lt. Nicole Armaganian
New Hampshire State Police
Tel: 603-223-8500

Patrick Moody
Director of Public Affairs & Traffic Safety
AAA Northern New England
Tel: 207-780-6916

Travel and Celebrate Safely This Memorial Day Weekend
New Hampshire Driving Toward Zero Coalition urges public to help reduce roadway crashes – says plan ahead, be prepared and pay attention.

Concord, NH (May 22, 2014)– As New Hampshire residents and visitors look ahead to the three-day Memorial Day Weekend, the New Hampshire Driving Toward Zero Coalition (NHDTZ), a collaborative effort of both public and private organizations whose mission is to create a culture of safety on New Hampshire roadways, urges people to plan ahead, be prepared and pay attention while traveling throughout the Granite State.

According to AAA, 36 million people will be traveling this Memorial Day Weekend - 88% will travel by vehicle. In New Hampshire, Memorial Day weekend typically marks the beginning of the busy summer tourist season and traffic volume on the state's highways is expected to be heavy. New Hampshire State Police and AAA Northern New England, members of the NHDTZ Coalition, remind people to travel and celebrate safely this holiday weekend.

"There will be a lot more vehicles on New Hampshire roadways this weekend," said Colonel Robert Quinn, New Hampshire State Police. "We understand that people are excited for the three-day weekend and the summer season, which is why we urge people to plan ahead, celebrate safely, pay attention to the roadway and your surroundings and simply slow down. We want people to have fun, and we want them to be safe."

According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, there were 12 crashes and one fatality attributed to drug- or alcohol-impaired driving on New Hampshire roadways over the 2013 Memorial Day weekend. The New Hampshire State Police and local law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for impaired drivers and those who are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be arrested.

Speeding, distraction and other factors are also a concern. In 2013, New Hampshire State Police cited 316 drivers for speeding over the Memorial Day weekend.

"One of the fastest ways to put the brakes on a great vacation is with an emergency, but by planning ahead and preparing properly, travelers can minimize risk," said Patrick Moody, Director of Public Affairs & Traffic Safety, AAA Northern New England. "Be prepared for busy roads during peak travel times and appoint a designated phone user and navigator to avoid distracted driving."

The NHDTZ Coalition offers the following tips for safe Memorial Day weekend travel and celebration:

Plan Before You Travel & Celebrate:

Tips for a Safe Road Trip:

  • Prepare your vehicle for your summer travel: Check tires, battery, fluids, wipers, belts & hoses, and prepare for a possible breakdown.
  • Visibility – Scan the roadway and adjust your mirrors to reduce blind spots.
  • Time – Manage a safe speed and distance to the front and rear of vehicles around you to allow yourself time to react.
  • Space- Lane choice is important to allow for an escape route should something happen. Give extra space to large trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians.
  • Prepare yourself and passengers for a crash- Buckle up and restrain children and pets properly. Stow potential projectiles in the trunk.

Tips to Celebrate Safely:

  • If you plan on drinking, leave your car keys at home.
  • If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
  • Use a community sober ride program, if available.
  • If you can't find a safe ride or you choose to walk home, remember that walking impaired can be just as dangerous as driving. Ask a sober friend to walk you home.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 9-1-1. You could save a life.
  • And remember, if you know people who are about to drive or ride with someone who is impaired, help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely. If a friend is drunk and wants to drive, intervene and take the keys away if you have to.

For more information and to join other New Hampshire citizens who have taken the NH Driving Toward Zero Pledge, visit

About New Hampshire Driving Toward Zero Coalition: The New Hampshire Driving Toward Zero Coalition is a collaborative effort of both public and private entities whose mission is to create a culture of safety on New Hampshire roadways. The vision of the Coalition is to reduce the number of fatal and severe injury crashes on New Hampshire roadways to ZERO through the implementation of education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency management solutions. Visit NHDTZ on the web at and follow NHDTZ on Facebook, Twitter at @NHDTZ and YouTube.

New Hampshire Department of Safety | 33 Hazen Drive | Concord, NH 03305
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