Reporting Karen Anderson
BOSTON (CBS) – After a series of fatal crashes on two major highways, State Police say they are seeing the results of their efforts to save lives.
Last month, Massachusetts State Police launched a campaign to target drunk and aggressive drivers by increasing patrols on Route 24 and I-195 on weekend nights.
Now, the numbers are in. Over the past four weekends, they’ve arrested 35 drunk drivers, made 31 other arrests, and issued 1094 citations.
State Police Major Anthony Thomas is leading the effort. He says, “The wrong way operators we’ve intercepted have all had extremely high alcohol content in their system. We did the right thing, we got them off the road.”
He says most of the crashes on Route 24 are caused by operator error, explaining, “The road is challenging and the design could be better, but the road is not causing these horrific crashes. It’s inattentive operators, impaired operators. It’s operators who think they can multitask.”
RELATED: Is Route 24 Too Dangerous?
Sandra Ouellette lost her 12-year-old daughter Angel on a crash on Route 24 last month, and says she is grateful to hear about the increased police patrols. “I don’t want another family to have to go through what we have.” As they were driving to cheerleading practice, a tire blew out of their truck, and Sandra lost control. Angel was ejected from the truck. “It’s horrible. Everything I do I think of her,” she says.
Sandra hopes other drivers will learn from her loss, by making sure their children are always wearing their seatbelts.
She says drivers must take responsibility behind the wheel. “Police are doing their job,” she says. “Now it’s our turn to do our job to make sure our families are safe.”
State Police say they are seeing fewer crashes, and the stepped up patrols will continue through September.