Local & Regional
3:53 pm
Fri September 4, 2009

Holiday Safety

Oklahoma City, OK – Public Safety Officials urge citizens to drive safely and obey the "Rules of the Road " over the holiday weekend.

"Troopers from across the country will be patrolling roadways targeting speeders, drunk drivers and seat belt violators over the Labor Day holiday weekend", said OHP spokesman Captain Chris West. The effort known as Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) is a nationwide campaign by state police and highway patrol agencies to reduce fatalities during holiday periods.

Alcohol offenses, speeding and restraint violations have always been leading causes of fatality collisions during the summer months, that is why we focus so much of our resources on these violations, said West.

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reported nine fatalities during the Labor Day period last year. One pedestrian was killed and one alcohol related fatality occurred. The Labor Day holiday begins 12:01 a.m., Friday, September 4, and ending at midnight Monday, September 7.

Thousands of Oklahomans will spend the holiday on area lakes and we are reminding citizens to use caution and observe navigation rules. Said Captain Mike Mize, Lake Patrol Division Commander. Boaters should have required equipment such as a life jacket for everyone in the boat, fire extinguisher and navigation lights after sunset. No one under the age of
13 may solely operate a personal watercraft (JetSki, Wetbike, SeaDoo, etc.).

Last year's Labor Day weekend resulted in 1 drowning, and 3 boating accidents on state lakes.

CPT Mize stated, Rules of the water apply the same as the rules of the road with the exception of stop signs, yield signs, and etc., therefore, boating and drinking become extremely dangerous. If you are arrested for boating under the influence you are subject to fines plus jail time.

Water temperature has dropped due to the recent cool weather. Increased chances of fatigue and shock to the system when entering the water after prolonged exposure to the heat can occur, said Mize.

"Do your part this weekend to ensure a safe and memorable holiday. Slow down, buckle up, and don't drink and drive. If you are over the limit, you are under arrest", West said.