OHP: No holiday traffic fatalities reported

Tuesday, May 27th 2008, 4:42 pm
By: News 9

By Charles Basset, NEWS 9

There were no traffic fatalities on the state roadways to report during the holiday weekend.

According to state troopers, the safe holiday weekend was a result of fewer people traveling and more motorist following safety precautions.

State troopers said they have come to expect traffic fatalities during a long holiday weekend, but they got a break over the Memorial Day weekend.

"We had three die last year during the Memorial Day weekend, and so we're just very grateful and very pleased to report that we had zero fatalities this holiday weekend," Oklahoma State Trooper Betsy Randolph said.

OHP said this weekend's violent weather may have kept many people home, but the high gas prices were probably the biggest factor helping to ease traffic on the roadways.

They also attribute the safe weekend to people following safety precautions on the roadway, especially when it comes to seatbelt use.

Triple A spokesman Chuck Mai said more people buckled up this weekend.

"We are seeing increased number of people wearing their seatbelts are up around 83% right now," Mai said. "We need to work on the pickup trucks and passengers, get them to buckle up more frequently."

Oklahoma has seen on overall drop in fatalities on state roadways from this same time last year. AAA said the number will continue to fall if motorists will slow down and limit distractions.

"There are all kinds of things vying for your attention as you're driving," Mai said. "Keep that number of distractions down...and concentrate on the road ahead of you."

OHP said they only counted the number of fatalities that occurred on state roadways. The last holiday state troopers saw no fatalities was July 4, 2006.