Pa. State Police investigate 500 crashes over New Year’s

    State Police say driving under the influence was a problem on Pennsylvania’s roads over the New Year’s holiday.

    Between Friday and Monday, troopers investigated more than 500 crashes. Seventh-nine of them were alcohol-related.

    Statistics refer to crashes investigated by State Police, not local departments. It would appear that crash numbers have gone down, police spokesman Sgt. Anthony Manetta said said.

    “They have gone down significantly. If we’re looking at the numbers that we investigated in 2010, they’re down significantly over the last two years,” he said.

    The numbers, however,  show that drunken driving and ignoring the seat-belt law are still problems, according to Manetta.

    “The things that really are injuring people on the highway can be contributed to two major factors,” Manetta said. “One is that people aren’t buckling up, and No. 2 is that people are drinking and driving.”

    State Police investigated 10 traffic deaths; two of those motorists were involved in alcohol-related accidents and six were not wearing seat belts.

    Overall, police arrested 285 motorists on charges of driving under the influence. They cited 379 people for failing to wear seat belts.

    Manetta said Tuesday violations of the law requiring children to ride in car seats are also on the rise.

    Last year, the state issued 42 citations for not using child safety seats on New Year’s; this year, they issued 51 citations.

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