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State troopers in Rhode Island and Connecticut are ramping up their safety efforts ahead of the Christmas and New Year's holidays with added patrols and enforcement activities that began Friday and continue through Jan. 2.

Both police forces said there would be roving patrols, and the Connecticut State Police will conduct checkpoints. The goal is to aggressively enforce all traffic laws, especially those involving impaired or distracted driving, speeding and other risky behaviors.

Col. Ann C. Assumpico, superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, said the police need the public's help "to make sure all Rhode Islanders live to see another New Year. You can help by making this resolution: Drive safely. Drive sober. And always buckle up.”

Assumpico said the state has a zero tolerance policy toward impaired drivers, supported by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Protection, AAA Northeast and the Rhode Island Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Eric Creamer, executive director of MADD Rhode Island, said, “There is no excuse for putting yourself or anyone else in harm’s way by drinking and driving. If someone knows that they will be consuming alcohol while they are enjoying festivities, they need to have a plan. Designate a sober driver, use ride share services or public transportation.”

With more than 4 million people in New England expected to travel 50 miles or more during the holiday week, the travel period is expected to be one of the busiest in recent years. In a press release, the Connecticut State Police State Police reminded drivers that "their behavior on the roads is essential to keeping potential hazards at a distance."

“We ask that all motorists pay attention to weather forecasts before they head for their destinations and always use caution while traveling on Connecticut roads,” said State Police Colonel George F. Battle.

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com

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