Memorial Day Weekend 2006

Once again the Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching. During this time of remembrance, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is all too often reminded of fatalities which occur on Oklahoma roads. There were 7 fatalities last year during the holiday weekend.

OHP will be participating in two national safety programs targeting restraint violations. "We know that seat belts save lives and decisions made prior to operating vehicles often determine survival in many collisions," said Lieutenant Pete Norwood, Oklahoma Highway Patrol spokesperson. The "Click it or Ticket" campaign and "Operation C.A.R.E (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) All American Buckle Up Week" are programs that run before, during, and after Memorial Day. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office has done an outstanding job letting law enforcement know the trends of fatality collisions. With the beginning of summer this is a critical time for us to get the message out about vehicle and boating safety." Lieutenant Norwood said. Last year OHP issued over 3500 seat belt and child restraint citations during the week ending on Memorial Day.

Troopers and State Police throughout the United States will combine their enforcement activities and concentrate toward alcohol-related offenses, speeding, seatbelt, and child restraint usage. There will be safety checkpoints throughout the state, speed enforcement by use of aircraft, patrol cars, and motorcycle units utilizing laser radar. Trooper Kera Philippi, Public Information Officer for OHP said, "Days off are cancelled for all State Troopers and we will be out in full force. The Commissioner of Public Safety, Kevin Ward, will also be on patrol to assist with this increased enforcement."

Memorial Day Weekend always means increased traffic and people taking advantage of Oklahoma’s lakes and parks. Boaters are reminded that every vessel is required to carry one U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable life jacket for each person on board. Also, everyone under the age of 13 is required to wear a life jacket. "There were 8 vessel accidents on our lakes last year. We were fortunate that we had no drowning victims on the lakes during the holiday last year and we want to keep it that way," said Philippi.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a "no tolerance" policy on seatbelt violations and warnings will not be issued. Child restraint violations have been increased from $25.00 to $196.90. "Slow down, buckle up, and don't forget those who are counting on you to make it home safely," Trp. Philippi said.