In an effort to prevent traffic fatalities, troopers are preparing to ramp up patrols in Louisiana's highways, cracking down on drunk driving and seat belt violators. According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, traffic accidents in 2014 accounting for 12 deaths and 710 injuries. State Police are hoping the extra enforcement will make the roads safer during what is traditionally one of the biggest travel times of the year.
Beginning on Sunday, November 22rd, state troopers will be working alongside local law enforcement as part of the Click it or Ticket campaign, which helps enforce the state's mandatory seat belt law. It's estimated 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. In addition to seat belt checks, troopers will be making sure children are placed in appropriate child restraints.
"With the rush of holiday travel and activities among us, simple safety precautions can sometimes be overlooked leading to often serious consequences," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. "Whether you're driving across the country or just across town, always buckling up and never driving while impaired will help 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 police cars. Of the 424 Thanksgiving holiday fatal and injury crashes in Louisiana last year, 61 were alcohol related.
Drivers 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. The 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.
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.