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A Holiday Safety Message From Chief Shupp

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The holiday season presents opportunities for reconnecting with
friends, spending time with family and celebrating. Unfortunately, it's also a time for revelers to become unwitting victims of crime.

The Crime Prevention unit of the Lehigh University Police Department suggests the following tips for a safe and happy holiday:

Criminals love the holidays as much as everyone else, mostly because it's a perfect opportunity to commit a crime. 

If you're shopping:

  • Don't let your guard down just because you are rushing
  • Remain alert and be aware of everything around you at all times
  • Park in well-lit spaces as close to the store as possible, lock your door and hide all packages in the trunk or under the seats.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash; pay by check or credit card if possible.
  • Carry your purse close to your body, and place wallets inside your coat or front pants pocket.
  • Be sure not to overload yourself with to many packages at one time.

If you're traveling:

  • Set an automatic timer for your lights.
  • Ask a neighbor to watch your home, shovel your walks, pick up newspapers, collect mail, and park in the driveway from time to time.
  • Be sure to hide any gifts that may be left in the house while you're away.

If you are at home:

  • Turn on outside lights to deter burglars.
  • Report any suspicious behavior to the police or local community watch groups.
  • Make sure your homeowners or rental insurance is paid up and all valuables are inventoried properly.

When celebrating, remember that mixing alcohol with driving is a dangerous action and can lead to arrest, vehicle accidents, property damage, injury and death. 

Traffic crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers in the United States.
Each year, about 1,400 Pennsylvania drivers under 21 are involved in alcohol-related crashes.Young drivers between the ages of 17 - 20 years old make up 6.6% of the total drivers on the road, but they account for 14% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes.  Of these, 28% of these drivers had been drinking. 

If your holiday celebration includes the use of alcoholic beverages, please drink responsibly and keep in mind the following safety tips:

  • Plan ahead... choose a designated driver who agrees to stay sober and drive the others who will be drinking.
  • Turn your parties into sleepovers.  If you are inviting people to your house, let them know that they can spend the night.  Hold any large parties or receptions at motels or hotels so that everybody can stay the night.
  • Convince the drinker to relinquish his or her keys and call a cab for a safe trip home.  Many bars and establishments offer call-a-cab programs.
  • Be your own best friend... while paying attention to your friends, don't forget your own drinking and driving behavior.  This includes surrendering your own keys and planning ahead for a safe ride home.

Please keep these tips in mind for a safe and happy holiday season.

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