The Thanksgiving holiday period is traditionally the busiest and most traveled time period of the year. According to AAA, the amount of people traveling this year is expected to increase, with 48.7 million people traversing the country. Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, over two hundred injuries in motor vehicle crashes were reported in Louisiana, and ten people were killed in fatal crashes. Louisiana State Police will be proactively patrolling our state highways in order to decrease crashes and keep our roads safe.
Louisiana State Police will be participating in the national Click It or Ticket campaign beginning Wednesday, November 23 through Sunday, November 27, 2016 in order to remind motorists that simply wearing a seat belt significantly decreases your chances of injury in a crash. In 2015, the use of seat belts saved an estimated 13,941 lives nationwide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent. This holiday travel period, 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, seatbelts can greatly increase the occupant’s chance of surviving a serious crash and may greatly reduce the extent of injury. 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.
“Please do not let this holiday season turn tragic for your family,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent. “Buckling up, driving sober, obeying speed limits and avoiding distractions are the simplest ways to avoid a fatal or injury crash. Nothing is worse than receiving that knock on your door from a Trooper who has devastating news to deliver. Please adhere to the laws in order to best protect your loved ones and give thanks for the blessings in your life.”
Troopers will also be targeting aggressive and impaired drivers utilizing both fully marked and unmarked patrol vehicles this holiday period. Last year, nearly half of the fatal crashes investigated involved impaired drivers. 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, lack of proper restraint use, and reckless operation 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, and impair fine motor skills needed to safely operate a motor vehicle. Just one drink may cause these effects.
Louisiana citizens and visitors to our state this holiday period are encouraged to take advantage of the Louisiana Traveler Information System through several different methods including the 511 phone system, www.511la.org, LA DOTD Twitter accounts, and the “Way to Geaux” smartphone application. Depending on the method utilized, the traveler information system allows access to valuable resources such as current road reports on crashes and construction, real time traffic camera views, and ferry status updates.
In conjunction with the DOTD Traveler Information System, citizens can stay abreast of major roadway closures, emergency incidents, and pertinent safety information through LSP’s social media accounts at www.facebook.com/LouisianaStatePolice and https://twitter.com/LAStatePolice.
Motorists that witness hazardous road conditions and/or reckless drivers are urged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the nearest Louisiana State Police Troop headquarters.
The Louisiana State Police wish everyone a SAFE and HAPPY Thanksgiving holiday.