Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Holiday Enforcement Campaign

The Overland Park Police Department, along with many other police agencies across the state, will be participating in the Kansas Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement Campaign from Monday, November 19, through Sunday, November 25. A grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will underwrite overtime traffic enforcement that especially targets impaired drivers as well as vehicle occupants who are not properly restrained.

Surprisingly, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Wednesday-Sunday) frequently outranks the other holidays in Kansas in number of driver impairment crashes. Those driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs endanger not only themselves, but also their passengers, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. On average, across Kansas five persons are killed or injured in alcohol-related crashes each day. According to KDOT, which tracks all crashes in the state, vehicle occupants in alcohol-related crashes are more than 2 ½ times likely to be injured or killed than those involved in crashes where alcohol or other drugs were not a factor.

Each week across Kansas more than 300 drivers are arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence). A DUI conviction will result in jail time, suspension or revocation of driver’s license, a fine of $500 to $2,500, participation in an alcohol treatment program, and purchase and installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender’s vehicle. It requires the driver to blow into a device that measures breath alcohol content prior to starting the car.

Always wear your seatbelt and don’t move the vehicle until all of your passengers are buckled in. It is both yours and your passenger’s best defense against death and injury, and it’s the law. It is not uncommon for a belted driver to survive a crash relatively unscathed, while an unbelted passenger is frequently killed or seriously injured – perhaps permanently.

Don’t put yourself in the position to have to live with these consequences for the rest of your life - BUCKLE UP for LIFE!