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December 21, 2001
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
(207) 626-8400

Secretary Gwadosky Encourages Highway Safety for Holidays
Safety Advocates Gather to Kick-off Distribution of 50,000 Reminder Cards on Turnpike

Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky joined today with several organizations that share a mission of promoting safety of Maine's roadways to kick-off the sixth annual Holiday Highway Safety Event. The group gathered to encourage Maine citizens and holiday visitors to drive safely over the holiday season and throughout the New Year. Motorists on the Maine Turnpike will be receiving reminder cards outlining the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as the warning signs of driver fatigue. The Maine Turnpike Authority has agreed to distribute the reminder cards to motorists beginning on December 21, 2001. Over 50,000 reminder cards will be distributed during the holidays.

Secretary Gwadosky touched upon two serious highway safety issues--drowsy driving and driving while intoxicated. "It is important to be well rested before starting a trip and to stop when necessary during the journey to rest," stated Secretary Gwadosky. "If you drive when you are tired, you put yourself, your passengers and other motorist at risk. The best way to combat drowsiness is to rest. And of course," Secretary Gwadosky continued, "if you have been drinking, do not drive. Arrange for a designated driver or cab before you go out to celebrate the holidays. It's the best gift you can give yourself, your family and your fellow travelers on Maine's highways."

"While everyone gathered here today promotes highway safety everyday, the holidays provide an opportunity to remind people of the importance of highway safety throughout the New Year," said Secretary Gwadosky. "We hope that everyone will make a New Year's commitment to travel safely on Maine's roadways."

Joining Secretary Gwadosky at the Kickoff were members from the following organizations:

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

The Maine Turnpike Authority and HMSHost have provided for an additional benefit to motorists. The reminder card may be redeemed for one cup of coffee at any Maine Turnpike rest area on December 24, 25, or 31, 2001 or January 1, 2002 compliments of HMSHost and the Maine Turnpike Authority. In addition, the Maine Turnpike Authority will be using its message boards along the turnpike to provide similar safety information.

Secretary of State Gwadosky is the chief Driver Licensing official in the state and oversees driver licensing and education, as well as vehicle registrations. Gwadosky's remarks were delivered at the kickoff of the sixth annual Holiday OUI Awareness Event. Gwadosky gathered with other safety advocates at Exit 14 A of the Maine Turnpike as turnpike workers began passing out the holiday reminders.