OHP Troopers Increase Patrols, Offer Safety Tips During Independence Day Holiday

Thursday, July 4th 2013, 10:53 am
By: News 9

Oklahoma drivers will see more state troopers on the roads during this Independence Day holiday.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers will increase patrols starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, lasting until midnight on Sunday, July 7.

According to the OHP, last year, the 2012 Independence Day Holiday began at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 3rd and ended at midnight on Wednesday, July 4. During this time period, there were four persons killed in three separate traffic collisions and Troopers investigated four drownings and one near-drowning across the state.

"Troopers will be out in force to provide service and increase public safety for all those who travel Oklahoma roads and visit area lakes and waterways during the Independence Day Holiday this year," said Colonel Kerry Pettingill, Chief of Patrol.

State Troopers across Oklahoma will participate in DUI special emphasis and saturation patrols throughout the holiday weekend.

Patrol officials offer the following safety tips for travel during the holiday period:

- Always obey posted speed limits and rules of the road.

- Be aware of roadway construction zones.

- Drive sober and remain attentive.

- Watch for emergency vehicles; slow down and change lanes for stationary emergency vehicles.

- Inspect your vehicle for road worthiness during trip planning.

- Prepare for breakdowns with proper spare tire, jack, lug wrench, emergency equipment and extra drinking water.

- Always travel with a cell phone and car charger.

- Call *55 on your mobile phone for roadside emergencies.

The Marine Enforcement Division will be holding a special emphasis on Lake Eufaula during the holiday period, according to the OHP. Troopers will concentrate efforts on enforcing OUI, (Operating under the influence) laws and other alcohol related offenses. Troopers always encourage the use of personal flotation devices and safe vessel operation.

Safety tips for lakes and waterways:

- State law requires a PFD, (personal flotation device) for ALL persons in a watercraft. Everyone 12 years and younger MUST be wearing a PFD while inside the vessel.

- Never enter the water if you have been drinking or become intoxicated.

- Do not allow inexperienced boaters to operate watercraft while unattended.

- State law requires the following items inside the watercraft while operating on the water: vessel registration, a functioning fire extinguisher and a horn or whistle for emergencies.

AAA Offers Tipsy Tow Service

AAA wants you to stay safe this 4th of July Holiday. They are offering their "Tipsy Tow" service which is available through 4 a.m. Friday.

The program gives two people and their vehicle a ride home at no charge within a 15 mile radius of the pickup point.

The service is offered to AAA members and non-members alike.