OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office wants Oklahomans to stay safe during Memorial Day weekend.
OHSO officials say that while social distancing and hand hygiene are still important in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they acknowledge the need to socialize and be with friends at the start of the summer season.
“We will have troopers on the roads, in the water, and in the air making sure people are being safe this holiday weekend,” said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lieutenant Chris Arnall. “We want to make sure everyone enjoys the time with friends and family, but we want them all to make it home safe.”
If your Memorial Day plans involve going to a lake or river, be sure to pack all your needed supplies before heading out. Doing so will save you from having to go to the store after you’ve been drinking alcohol while at the lake or river, according to the news release.
A major concern when heading to a Memorial Day celebration destination, such as a lake or river, is road safety, Highway Safety Office officials said.
Two people were killed in crashes in Oklahoma during the 2019 Memorial Day holiday period; one of those crashes was alcohol-related, according to the news release.
“That’s down significantly from 11 people killed in 2018. While that decline is great news, Oklahoma still lost two people last year in preventable crashes,” the news release states.
Highway Patrol is working with local law enforcement agencies to catch drunk drivers. Also, several agencies in areas that are near popular lakes and rivers have officers working with ENDUI Oklahoma Impaired Driving Liaison troopers to get impaired drivers off the roads.
“We understand everyone wants to have a good time. We just ask that you follow certain rules and use common sense to avoid a tragedy that could have been prevented,” said Captain Sharp.
Law enforcement will be working to ensure Oklahomans are safe in the water as well, the news release states.
All available troopers from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s marine enforcement division, Troop W, will be on the job at lakes across Oklahoma, according to the news release.
“We urge everyone to consider safety on the water as well as on the roads,” said Troop W Captain, Mike Sharp. “Have a life jacket onboard your vessel for each passenger, children 12 years old or younger must wear a life jacket if they are on a vessel that is less than 26 feet in length. Never operate boats or personal watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”