The holidays are upon us, and many residents will be traveling this week to see family and friends all across New England.
State Police are doing their part to help ensure these visits don't end in tragedy because of impaired or distracted driving.
The Massachusetts State Police joined forces with other New England State Police divisions at headquarters in Framingham to explain their C.A.R.E (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) program.
Increased patrols this week will be cracking down on impaired/drunk driving, texting while driving and seatbelt law violations, among other things.
"We aren't trying to discourage people from going out and enjoying themselves," Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy P. Alben said. "We just want to make sure they are being safe and responsible."
The C.A.R.E program is a joint venture helping troopers keep an eye on incidents in the area, especially since motorists can easily travel among the small New England states.
"We want to make this a holiday season where no one is seriously injured or killed in a crash. That will truly be something to be thankful for," Alben said.
Up in New Hampshire, state police this year have already dealt with 94 deaths from motor vehicle crashes. New Hampshire State Police Capt. Gary LeLaucher said stepped-up patrols are an effort to keep that number under 100 for the year.
"Last year we had 13 deaths between Thanksgiving and New Year's," LeLaucher said. "In the past, we've noticed mid-week spikes late in December when offices are having Christmas parties, so those times will be enforced more on the roads."
According to LeLaucher, many of the crashes don't happen on main highways in the state, but rather, on smaller secondary roads.
Capt. Karen Pinch of the Rhode Island State Police said her department will nearly double patrols during the holiday season. Pinch also said they have stepped up their enforcement and have issued than last year more citations for distracted driving and seatbelt violations.
"Traffic enforcement remains the single most effective tool in detecting and diminishing criminal activity," said Vermont State Police Lt. John Flannigan.