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ISP increasing patrols over holiday weekend

Staff Report

The Indiana State Police will be increasing patrols this weekend and will be concentrating their enforcement efforts on impaired drivers, distracted drivers and for those drivers and passengers not buckled up, according to a series of press releases Tuesday.

Last year, during the three-day holiday period, 1,623 crashes occurred throughout Indiana resulting in 396 injuries and six fatalities.

To help ensure the safety of all motorists during this holiday period. Indiana State Police will be participating in Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (CARE) and Driving Under the Influence Enforcement Project (DUIEP). Both of these are federally-funded programs that allow extra troopers to patrol Hoosier highways during the upcoming holiday period.

The American Automobile Association (AAA), is predicting this to be the most-traveled Independence Day holiday period on record, with over 49 million Americans expected to travel more than 50 miles from home. It is estimated that 41 million of those traveling will be on the highways. Some of the reasons given for the record travel are a robust economy and gas prices that are lower than last summer.

Troopers would like to remind all motorists that they must do their part to help ensure our roadways are safe and encourage everyone to follow these safety tips:

• Ensure everyone is buckled up.

• Don’t drive impaired.

• If you plan to consume alcohol, make sure you have a plan to get home safely.

• Don’t drive distracted.

• If you’re traveling a long distance, make sure you are well rested. A fatigued driver is a dangerous driver.

• If you’re traveling and notice a suspected impaired driver, please call 911 and report the vehicles description, route of travel and registration information if possible. Never pass a suspected impaired driver. Follow the vehicle at a safe distance.

• Leave early. Allow extra time to get to your destination.

• Don’t use cruise control in heavy traffic.

• Always signal lane changes.

• Use headlights even during daylight hours.

• Reduce your speed in rain, and never drive into water flowing over the roadway.

• Decrease your speed in construction zones. Obey posted speed limits.

• Remember to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles, tow trucks, service trucks and highway maintenance vehicles.

• Increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you, especially in construction zones.

• Don’t forget to watch for slow moving farm equipment on county and state roads.

• Watch for motorcycles. Check blinds spots before changing lanes and look twice at intersections before you turn or pull out into traffic.

• Allow at least three seconds of following distance between your vehicle and a motorcycle.

• Be cautious and observant when turning left. A primary cause of crashes between vehicles and motorcycles is when a vehicle turns left in front of an oncoming motorcycle.

• Remember, motorcycles are entitled to operate in a full lane.

With all the road construction going on around the state, you may check on traffic and road conditions, crashes and construction on state highways by visiting indot.carsprogram.org, calling 800-261-ROAD (7623), or dialing 511 from a mobile phone.