Memorial Weekend 2007

Once again the Memorial Day weekend is upon us. During this time of remembrance, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is all too often reminded of fatalities which occur on Oklahoma roads. "There were 11 fatalities on our roads last year during the holiday weekend," said Captain Chris West, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. "Nine of those people killed were not wearing seat belts."

OHP will be participating in two national safety programs targeting restraint violations. 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 Patrol has a 'no tolerance' policy for seat belt and child restraint violations and we do not issue warnings," Captain West said. "Troopers will focus on alcohol-related offenses, speeding, seat belt 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," West said. "Troopers will be out in full force this Memorial weekend."

Memorial Day weekend also means increased traffic on Oklahoma's lakes and rivers. "Five people drowned in our state last Memorial Day weekend. The Lake Patrol Section of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol would like to remind people venturing out on Oklahoma's lakes this weekend that most of our lakes are at their highest levels in years. Many obstacles that were formerly visible are now just below the surface, and with the recent rains there is some chance of encountering significant debris in the water. Boaters are reminded that every vessel is required to carry one U.S. Coast Guard - approved wearable life jacket for each person on board. Every person under the age of 13 is required to wear a life jacket. We would also like to remind people who might be drinking of the tendency for sun, wind and waves to magnify the effects of alcohol." said Captain George Green. "Also, we ask all parents to watch their children closely when they are playing around the water."

"Slow down, buckle up, and don't forget those who are counting on you to make it home safely," said West.