Operation CARE Hits Highways for Holidays

Wednesday, November 26th 2008, 2:11 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Triple-A projects around 440,000 Oklahomans are traveling for Thanksgiving, and with the increase in traffic, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is going the extra mile to keep travelers safe.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is out in full force to make your holiday travels extra safe through Operation C.A.R.E, which stands for Combined Accident Reduction Effort.

This is a nationwide effort by troopers to cut down on speeding, drunk driving and overall tighter enforcement to keep high travel times safer.

Trooper Brian Thompson would probably prefer not to work over the Thanksgiving holiday, but he doesn't mind.

"It goes with the job. I signed on for it, I knew what I was getting myself into," Trooper Thompson said.

What he does mind is having to work bad accidents, especially over the holiday.

"I know everybody's in a hurry. They want to get to grandma's house, get to thanksgiving dinner, but they need to just slow down, take their time, make sure they get there safely," Trooper Thompson said.

Last Thanksgiving there were 13 fatalities on Oklahoma roads over Thanksgiving, 10 of them due to vehicle occupants not wearing seatbelts.

"And if you don't have it on, we're going to stop you, and...Click it or ticket. We're going to give you a ticket if you're not wearing your seatbelt," Trooper Thompson said.

Thompson said he'll give warnings for speeding and bad lane changes, but drivers won't get off easy if they're not wearing seatbelts.

"Seatbelts? No way. I mean, for crying out loud, it's a $20 fine," Trooper Thompson said. "The patrol does not issue warnings for seatbelts, or child seats."

The fine for not having your child buckled properly is much higher, $230.

Operation CARE started Tuesday night at midnight and continues through Sunday. If you see any erratic driver's, call * 55 from your cell phone.