Life Saver Weekend

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will participate in a national campaign to reduce accidents this weekend. Operation C.A.R.E. Life Saver Weekend will begin Friday, December 15 and run through Sunday, December 17. There are six separate C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) periods throughout the year.

During Life Saver Weekend states across the nation concentrate their efforts on alcohol-related offenses. "With Christmas parties and shopping, the highways will be much busier than usual, and everyone seems to be in a hurry," said Lt. Pete Norwood.

December 2005 was a deadly month for our state. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reported 71 people lost their lives during the month of December, an increase of 10 fatalities during the same month in 2004. "Drinking and driving was the second leading cause of fatality collisions in the state," Norwood stated. "This raises a red flag for all law enforcement agencies."

The deadly combination of speed & alcohol, along with over half of fatality victims failing to wear safety belts, were all contributing factors to the high death toll last December. "We plan to be aggressive. We want everyone to enjoy a safe holiday season, so we will be looking for the few who jeopardize so many," Norwood said. There will be sobriety checkpoints throughout the state, with Troopers specifically assigned to DUI enforcement.

There are things drivers can do to make this a safer holiday season. "Don't drink and drive, wear your seat belt, and obey the speed limit. We ask that if you observe an impaired driver, make the call," said Norwood. Use *55 or 911, giving as many details as possible, such as color of vehicle, tag number, direction of travel and location. "Your phone call about a drunk driver will possibly save a life, and I can't think of a better way to show you C.A.R.E.," stated Norwood.