Chief Domenic J. DiMella
27 Hamilton Street
Saugus, MA 01906
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Saugus Police Department Awarded Grants and Unveils Programs for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety
SAUGUS — Police Chief Domenic J. DiMella announces that the Saugus Police Department has been awarded a $2,500 grant to improve safety conditions for the thousands of pedestrians and bicyclists sharing the road with vehicles in Saugus every day. Additionally Saugus Police are hoping to enforce and improve holiday travel, by mobilizing for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over program, in conjunction with the the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS).
The monetary grant is part of the $285,500 allocated to Massachusetts police departments this holiday season to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. Saugus is one of 70 police departments to receive a grant.
“Bicyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to the motoring public because they may not be immediately visible to drivers and unlike those in vehicles, nothing protects them from impact,” Chief DiMella said. “All users need to learn to share the road safely and be mindful of one another and the law. We’ll use the grant for education, enforcement and outreach we believe will help protect our pedestrians and cyclists from injuries and fatalities.”
Saugus also joins the 191 eligible municipal law enforcement agencies and the Massachusetts State Police scheduling extra patrols through the New Year. Police will increase patrols, conduct sobriety checkpoints, and conduct public outreach through local media with hopes of delivering their life saving message to drivers, as part of Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
“Our number one goal this holiday season is to ensure people’s safety,” said Saugus Police Lieutenant Ronald Giorgetti. “A lot of people will be traveling around town or through Saugus on the main roads. We want everyone to get to their destination and back home again.”
This holiday season, if you’re drinking and driving, Saugus Police will find and arrest you. No warnings, no excuses. You’ll face jail time, fines, loss of your driver’s license, towing fees, and other OUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average.
Chief DiMella suggests anyone drinking should designate a sober driver ahead of time, call a friend or family member, use public transportation, or call a taxi. The alternatives are all far less expensive than the $10,000 cost of being caught and charged with OUI or taking someone’s life.
The Massachusetts Traffic Records Analysis Center (MassTRAC) reported that during the years of 2005-2012, roughly 2,900 pedestrians and bicyclists were injured in Massachusetts, and another 591 people died while travelling along these roadways. This safety grant will reduce the number of vehicle-related deaths and lower the injured number of people getting hurt while travelling on the roadways due to inappropriate sharing of the road.
The NHTSA reports that in Massachusetts in 2012, 123 people were killed in crashes that involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Nationally, in December of 2012, there were 830 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver with a BAC of .08 or higher. Twenty-six of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day.
If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely. If you have any questions about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over program or the traffic safety grant, please visit https://sauguspd.com/