The Thanksgiving holiday period is traditionally one of the busiest travel periods of the year. In response, the Louisiana State Police will have an increased number of troopers on patrol during this holiday period working to keep motorists safe. This extra allocation in manpower is made possible through Federal grants provided by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.
In an effort to reduce injury and fatal crashes, troopers will be focusing on seat belt use and those who choose not to put their children in appropriate child restraints. Louisiana law requires that all occupants be properly restrained regardless of their age or seating position.
While not all crashes are survivable, seat belts can greatly decrease the occupant’s chance of death and may greatly reduce the extent of injury.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Louisiana’s seat belt compliance remains under the national average at 82 percent.
Troopers urge all drivers and passengers in motor vehicles to heed the warning and remember that failure to buckle up can turn the happiest of holidays into a nightmare. In 2012, 56 percent of all occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
“Buckling up is a proven life saver, but it’s often forgotten during the rush of holiday travel,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police superintendent. “Whether you’re driving across the country or just across town, buckling up is one of the best ways to ensure you arrive safely at your destination and avoid a holiday tragedy.”
Troopers will also be targeting aggressive and impaired drivers utilizing both fully marked and unmarked patrol units this holiday period. When you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested.
There is a direct correlation between driving while intoxicated and speeding when related to traffic fatalities.
Motorists are reminded that alcohol has many effects on the body. Alcohol can impair visual ability, alter sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle and increase reaction times. Just one drink may cause these effects.
Due to an anticipated increase in traffic volume, troopers ask motorists to please exercise patience and recommend allowing extra time to get to your destination. Motorists must remain attentive to their surroundings, extend respect and courtesy to other motorists and avoid distractions inside the vehicle.
In addition, prior to traveling ensure that your vehicle is in proper working order. Your gas tank should be full, tires inflated to manufacturer’s specification and the tread on your tires should be of sufficient depth (not less than 3/32).
To report impaired drivers or unsafe roadway conditions, dial *LSP (*577) from your cellular phone to reach the State Police Troop closest to you.
Citizens and visitors are also urged to enroll in Nixle Alerts for real time updates on roadway closures, crash locations, and pertinent safety information for their region. To enroll, visit www.nixle.com, complete the required information and select Louisiana State Police as your agency.
For more information regarding specific enforcement activities and safety campaigns in your area, please contact your local LSP Public Information Officer or visit the Louisiana State Police Facebook page. www.facebook.com/LouisianaStatePolice.
Buckle up Louisiana. Every trip. Every time.
Trooper First Class Evan Harrell,
Louisiana State Police, Troop C