BATON ROUGE, LA (KADN) — Louisiana State Police say that simply planning ahead for your New Year’s celebration can help the state have a safe start to 2014.
Over the past 10 years, 41 percent of motor vehicle deaths on New Years were alcohol related, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The LSP explain that an increase in New Year’s celebrations over the years, has led to an increase in traffic on the state’s roadways.
That is why State Troopers are urging residents to make a plan and follow some simple steps.
1. Always have a Designated Driver
• A designated driver is someone who has had NOTHING alcoholic to drink
• If you need a ride: Call a taxi or a trusted person. Or just stay put
• Alcohol can impair visual ability, alter sense of time and space, impair motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decrease reaction times. Just ONE drink may cause these effects.
• Thousands 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.
2. Always buckle-up! (Motorcyclists wear an approved helmet)
• Louisiana law requires that every person, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Statistics show that seatbelts significantly increase the chances of surviving a violent crash. Motorcyclists must wear a proper US D.O.T. Motorcycle helmets and seat belts greatly decrease your risk of serious injury or death.
3. Do not drive distracted
• Inattentive and distracted drivers account for a large number of serious crashes across the state every year. Troopers say you can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by ensuring that you remain focused solely on the task of driving, while behind the wheel.
4. Pedestrians or Bicyclists
• If you travel on foot or bicycle, wear bright clothing, be cognizant of traffic, and travel safe.
State Police Superintendent, Colonel Mike Edmonson said that “Troopers across the state will be working alongside our local partners to provide a safe environment for travelers throughout the New Year’s holiday.”
Edmonson also added that despite the increase of Troopers on the road, “precautionary measures by the public will help ensure an enjoyable New Year’s holiday for everyone.”
Louisiana State Police urge you to report impaired drivers and dangerous roadway conditions. Dialing *LSP or (*577) on your cell phone. LSP also urge you to enroll in alerts that provide real time updates on roadway closures, crash locations, and pertinent safety information. To enroll, visit www.nixle.com, complete the required information and select Louisiana State Police as your agency.
For more information regarding specific enforcement activities and area safety campaigns, contact your local LSP Public Information Officer or visit the Louisiana State Police Facebook page. www.facebook.com/LouisianaStatePolice.