Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 104 Part 6.djvu/809

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PROCLAMATION 6083—DEC. 11, 1989 104 STAT. 5199 Proclamation 6083 of December 11, 1989 National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week, 1989 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation As we prepare to celebrate the holidays and rejoice in the promise of the new year, it is fitting that we pause to remember the perils of drinking and driving. Each year, traffic accidents caused by drunk and drugged driving claim the lives of thousands of Americans. Many others are seriously injured as a result of such incidents. This week, we renew oiw commitment, as individuals and as a Nation, to keeping our roads and highways safe—not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year. In past years, programs and activities held in observance of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week have proven to be effective in enhancing public awareness of the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These programs and activities have been organized by concerned citizens and business leaders, as well as by public officials at all levels of government. Through candlelight vigils, safety campaigns, and voluntary efforts to provide rides from holiday parties, private citizens and business owners have helped focus greater attention on the problem of drunk and drugged driving. Governors, mayors, and other local officials have not only issued proclamations in observance of this week, but have also appointed special task forces to address the issue. The introduction of new drunk driving legislation in various States and the implementation of innovative law enforcement and detection programs have helped improve the safety of roads and highways across the country. These successful voluntary ef- forts and coordinated governmental activities demonstrate how each and every American can join in the fight against drunk and drugged driving. Tragically, however, while we have made considerable progress in our efforts to reduce alcohol- and drug-impaired driving, approximately half of all fatal motor vehicle collisions continue to be alcohol-related. Some 80 percent of these accidents involve a legally intoxicated driver or pedestrian. These statistics mean that, during 1988, alcohol played a role in more than 23,000 traffic deaths. The toll in terms of personal suffering and loss can never be measured. The observance of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week reminds us of how much more we have to do in order to eliminate this senseless carnage of our Nation's roads and highways. Each of us must recognize the grave dangers posed by drinking and driving, and we must refuse to tolerate it. We must also recognize that drugs— including prescribed medications and those purchased over-thecounter—can seriously impair one's judgment and driving ability, whether taken alone or in combination with alcohol. This week provides an opportunity for all Americans to become involved in the campaign against drunk and drugged driving. We can do so by supporting the work of local law enforcement officials and by demonstrating a sense of personal responsibility ourselves. We can en-