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 over the New Years Holiday, but need the cooperation of all travelers to end the increase of fatalities we have experienced this year," said Lieutenant Chris West, Department of Public Safety spokesman.

As of Sunday, December 29, 2002 there have been 710 traffic deaths compared to 679 for the same time frame last year.

Although traffic deaths peaked in 1997 at 846, they were on the decline the following three years at 769, 747 and 662 for the years 1998, 1999 and 2000. An increase in 2001 resulted in 682 and the increase since 1997.

"We are asking the public to help us end the year with on more deaths on Oklahoma roadways," said West.

Troopers will focusing their efforts on DUI, as well as speed and safety belt violations.