Citizens across Louisiana have been enjoying the holiday festivities and Louisiana State Police would like to remind everyone of a few simple things to do in order to keep you safe on the roadways. As we begin the countdown to 2022, celebrations across the state will increase traffic on our highways. By taking the necessary precautions, many fatal and serious injury crashes can be prevented. The task of reducing crashes and preventing a holiday tragedy is the responsibility of both law enforcement and the public. Through preventative steps and safe choices by drivers and passengers in motor vehicles, the vast majority of holiday crashes can be prevented. Throughout this holiday period, Troopers will partner with law enforcement agencies across the state to conduct proactive enforcement in support of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
By adhering to the following safety guidelines below, motorists can greatly reduce their chances of being involved in a serious injury or fatality crash.
Designate a Sober Driver
· Thousands of people are seriously injured or killed due to impaired driving each year. Never get behind the wheel if you are impaired or get in a vehicle with a driver who is impaired by alcohol or other substance.
· Alcohol has many effects on the body. It can impair visual ability, fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle and increase reaction times.
· Designate a sober driver before traveling to any place where alcohol will be consumed. A designated driver is one who has had zero alcohol to drink.
· In addition to alcohol, illicit drugs, prescriptions and some over-the-counter medications can impair anyone who ingests them. Please ensure that any required medication does not impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle; speak with your physician about specific medications.
· Call a taxi, ride-sharing service or a trusted person for a ride or just stay where you are.
· Louisiana law requires that every person in a motor vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled. Troopers urge all drivers and passengers in motor vehicles to understand that failure to buckle up can quickly become a tragic and fatal decision.
· Statistics show that the chances of surviving a violent crash rise significantly when properly restrained.
Child Passenger Restraints
· Louisiana law requires all children to be properly restrained in the proper child seat for their age, weight and height. Children 12 years of age or younger are required to ride in the rear seat, if seating is available.
· Inattentive and distracted drivers account for a large number of serious crashes across the state every year.
· You can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by remaining focused on the task of driving while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Pedestrians or bicyclists
· Whether you travel on foot or bicycle, wear bright clothing, remain aware of traffic on the roadway, use proper lighting at night, and follow the laws.
· Pedestrians should walk against traffic and should not be in the travel lane, unless crossing at a designated crosswalk.
· Bicycles are required to follow the same laws as vehicles.
· Please allow at least 3 feet between the vehicle and bicycle when passing.
· Motorcyclists must wear a proper D.O.T. approved helmets when operating a motorcycle on Louisiana roadways.
· Although not all crashes are survivable, properly utilizing safety equipment, like approved motorcycle helmets and proper clothing, greatly decreases your risk of serious injury or death.
For the latest road condition information including closures and construction, visit www.511la.org or dial 511 from any phone in Louisiana. The “Louisiana 511” phone app is also available for download. Motorists can sign up for Twitter traffic alerts from DOTD, as well as stay up to date with important information from the Louisiana State Police Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Motorists that witness hazardous road conditions and/or reckless drivers are encouraged to call LSP (577) and report that activity to the nearest Louisiana State Police Troop location.