New Year's Holiday

OK DPS- New Year's Holiday New Year's Holiday The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is urging motorists to take heed over the New Years Holiday.

"We will be doing everything possible to keep the roads safe this holiday weekend, but need the cooperation of all travelers to end the year with one hundred fewer traffic deaths than last year", said Lieutenant Chris West, Department of Public Safety spokesman.

In spite of severe winter storms over the past two weeks, Oklahoma has benefitted from fewer traffic deaths as compared to the previous four years.

"As of Wednesday, December 27, 2000 we have one hundred fewer traffic deaths than last year, (639 compared to 739 for the same time frame in 1999), but with another winter storm expected this weekend, we are urging motorists to drive carefully", said West.

Last New Year's holiday, DPS reported nine people died in eight traffic crashes statewide. Drivers in two of the crashes were under the influence of alcohol, three of the crashes were speed related and seven of the nine victims were not wearing safety belts.

Troopers will be patrolling Oklahoma's roads throughout the holiday weekend. DPS will continue to enforce its no tolerance policy for those who choose to drink and drive, and for those who choose not to wear their safety belts.

"Wearing safety belts has been the law for several years now, and we believe that increased compliance coupled with aggressive enforcement has played a significant role in the reduction of traffic deaths," West said.

"There are many transportation options for people who choose to celebrate by consuming alcohol this weekend. Getting behind the wheel would be the worse. Drinking and driving is irresponsible and will not be tolerated," said West.

Traffic Fatality Victims:

1996: 775
1997: 846
1998: 769
1999: 747

Motorists traveling with cellular telephones can contact the Highway Patrol by dialing *55 to report an erratic driver or traffic emergencies on the interstates and highways.