Celebrate road safety this season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 26, 2009

Each year the Louisiana State Police have one Christmas wish: No fatalities.

The Thanksgiving holidays were deadly in Louisiana, with eight fatal crashes on state highways that resulted in 16 deaths. And the common factor in those deaths was that most victims were not wearing seatbelts.

Now it’s a holiday season again, and during this long Christmas weekend and next week’s long New Year’s weekend the roadways will be packed as families come together from across the state and beyond.

So safety is of utmost importance.

Buckling your seatbelt isn’t an option for drivers or passengers. It’s state law for all in a vehicle. And having children properly restrained is also of utmost importance.

And that’s not all.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports, 3,074 people were killed in crashes across America during December 2008. Out of that number, 888 people were killed in crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08g percent or higher.

Roads will be crowded enough without drivers having to watch out for drunks behind a wheel. The Louisiana State Police and local police agencies will not tolerate impaired driving, whether drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Bottom line: Do not drink, then drive.

Troopers will also be issuing citations for hazardous violations, such as following too close, speeding, distracted driving and careless operation, so please pay attention.

We hope all of you enjoy this holiday season and stay safe as we head into 2010.