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December 19, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky and Other Highway Safety Advocates
Kickoff Annual Holiday Reminder Program

30,000 Highway Safety Awareness Cards to be Distributed

WEST GARDINER, MAINE -- Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky and representatives from highway safety organizations launched the seventh annual Holiday Highway Safety Awareness Program on Friday at Exit 14 A of the Maine Turnpike in West Gardiner. The annual effort is aimed at encouraging responsible driving during the holiday season and New Year.

As part of the annual Holiday Highway Safety Awareness Event, information cards will be distributed at all tollbooths on the Maine Turnpike. The cards remind travelers of the dangers of drinking and driving, and encourage drivers to take a break from the road when feeling drowsy or tired.

“Highway safety is a concern to all travelers in our state. It is especially important this time of year to remind motorists that safety is paramount. We must be vigilant about the message that drinking and driving is unacceptable, and that tired drivers pose a real danger to those on our highways,” Secretary of State Gwadosky commented. “This reminder event raises awareness during the holiday season, and encourages responsible driving throughout the New Year.”

Participating in this project:

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky Maine Sheriff's Association
Maine Turnpike Authority Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Maine State Police Maine Transportation Safety Coalition
Maine Chiefs of Police Parents Against Tired Truckers

Approximately 30,000 cards encouraging highway safety will be distributed to motorists at tollbooths across the length of the Maine Turnpike during the holiday season. Similar highway safety messages will also be displayed on the variable message boards located throughout the turnpike system, courtesy of the Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA).

Additionally, the MTA, HMSHost and New England Coffee will be providing free cups of coffee to motorists who redeem the reminder cards at visitor information centers and rest areas along the turnpike.

December has been designated by Presidential proclamation as “National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.” Last year more than 17,000 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving alcohol.