Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement to Kick Off
Law Enforcement Working to Make Sure Holiday Travel is Safe
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Baxter Springs Police Department will join many other law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, in the Kansas Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement Campaign, from Monday, November 24, through Sunday, November 30. A grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will underwrite overtime costs associated with traffic enforcement that specifically targets impaired drivers and improperly restrained vehicle occupants.
The Thanksgiving Holiday period outranks all other holidays, other than New Year’s, in the average number of crashes where driver impairment is cited as a factor. Those driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs endanger not only themselves, but also others they share the road with – such as their passengers, other motorists and pedestrians. On average, across Kansas, five people are killed or injured in alcohol/drug-related crashes each day. According to KDOT, which tracks all crashes in the state, vehicle occupants in alcohol- or other drug-related crashes are over 2 ½ times more likely to be injured or killed than those involved in crashes where alcohol or other drugs were not a factor.
Each week across Kansas, over 250 drivers are arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence). A DUI conviction will result in jail time, the suspension or revocation of driver’s license, a fine of $500 to $2,500, participation in an alcohol or other drug treatment program, and the purchase and installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender’s vehicle.
Also contributing to needless deaths and serious injuries is the failure by many to simply buckle up. Twice as many Kansans who die from a crash are unrestrained as compared to those who are buckled up.
Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves and Baxter Springs Chief of Police Mike Kliewer remind drivers that if they plan to be drinking – any amount at all– don’t consider driving home. Arrange to ride with a non-drinking friend or family member. Don’t let pride or concerns for your convenience endanger your life and the lives of innocent others. Always wear your seatbelt and don’t move until each person riding with you is buckled in. You will live with the consequences – good or bad – the rest of your life.