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Be Aware of the Three B’s This Fourth of July Holiday to Stay Safe

Booze, belts and burns can play a role in the outcome of your holiday

Lehigh Valley DUI/Highway Safety Task Force

They are not buzz words, but the three b’s could mean the difference between having a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday and having your celebration ruined by tragedy. Those three b’s are booze, belts and burns.

The Lehigh Valley DUI/Highway Safety Task Force, of which Lehigh Valley Health Network is a community partner, held its annual Fourth of July safety event on July 1. The message is a common but often undervalued one, especially around the holidays: don’t drink and drive, wear your seat belt when traveling and leave the fireworks to the professionals. 

“Just because fireworks can be legally purchased and used here in Pennsylvania, that doesn't necessarily make them safe,” said Craig Baer, Deputy Chief for the City of Bethlehem, at a ceremony at the department’s Company No. 6 Memorial Fire Station on West Broad Street.

“Every year, thousands of lives are lost due to drunk driving accidents. These tragedies are entirely preventable.” - Bethlehem Police Chief Michelle Kott

Baer said fireworks set off by consumers have caused on average 19,000 fires a year around the country. In Bethlehem, he said since consumer fireworks have become legal, city firefighters have responded to about 10 fires each year during the holiday.

“One of the major causes of fire that we see here in the city of Bethlehem is people discharging or discarding fireworks containers that are still hot or smoldering,” Baer said.

Bethlehem Police Chief Michelle Kott told police officers, fire officials and others in attendance DUI isn't just a legal issue; it's a matter of life and death, affecting countless lives every day.

“Every year, thousands of lives are lost due to drunk driving accidents. These tragedies are entirely preventable. By enforcing DUI laws rigorously, we send a clear message: driving under the influence will not be tolerated. This not only deters potential offenders but also ensures the safety of innocent bystanders on our roads.”

The Task Force also presented DUI and traffic safety awards to Lehigh Valley police officers who made the most DUI arrests and wrote the most traffic citations in 2023.

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