The Onondaga County Road Safety Advisory Council held its 38th annual Donald H. Barrett Lights on Caravan event on Saturday. The annual event honors victims of impaired driving and drug use. It also serves as a reminder of the dangers of impaired driving, especially during the holiday season.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 659 people across the country lost their lives in impaired driving crashes last December alone. The agency says that over the past five years, an average of 300 people have died in drunk driving crashes on Christmas and New Years week. Local law enforcement says Thanksgiving doesn’t is no different.
“Thanksgiving Eve is one of the biggest drinking parties of the year,” said Seamus Shanley, Onondaga County Sheriff‘s Deputy.
Shanley has been in law enforcement for about five years and this year is her first spotlight on the trailer. Local and state law enforcement agencies, first responders and businesses in the area drove through downtown Syracuse, visiting the Baldwinsville Fire Department to remind drivers to be safe on the road. roads this holiday season.
“We are working hand in hand with all agencies in the region to try to raise awareness of this ongoing issue,” Shanley said. “Not only in our respective county, but this is an issue that we want to raise awareness across the country that there are still other avenues to be explored.”
Whether it’s calling an Uber or having a designated driver, Shanley says it’s important to use these other services instead of driving while impaired.
“The community needs to raise awareness about this issue and hopefully limit it as much as possible,” Shanley said.
In 2014, the caravan was renamed Donald H. Barrett Lights on Caravan, dedicating the annual event to one of the founders who died in September 2013.