Memorial Day weekend is not only a time to reflect and honor our veterans, but also a time when many Idahoans take to the road to enjoy the unofficial kick-off of summer. During Memorial Day weekend in 2013, there were 137 crashes on Idaho roads with 79 people injured and 2 fatalities. The Idaho State Police offer some safety reminders to drivers to ensure that this holiday is safe for everybody on the road.
- Wear Your Seatbelt - Day or Night
The "Click It or Ticket" seatbelt enforcement mobilization, in cooperation with the Idaho Transportation Department's Office of Highway Safety, started on May 19th and goes through June 1st. ISP and local law enforcement officers will be stringently enforcing Idaho's seatbelt law around the clock. The use of seat-belts saves thousands of lives across America each year. Drivers with children are also reminded to make sure all children are in age-appropriate safety seats and children under 12 are in the back seat.
- Designate a Driver
Alcohol and driving is always a bad mix. Last Memorial Day weekend there were 17 crashes in Idaho where alcohol or drugs involved. Every day, nearly 30 people in the U.S. die in a motor-vehicle crash involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Designate a driver before anybody in your party drinks.
- Allow Enough Time to Get There
Troopers want to remind motorists to slow down and leave early to arrive on time. If you allow yourself enough time to get from place to place you will reduce any tendency to speed, tailgate, violate traffic signals, weave in and out of traffic or engage in other aggressive driving practices.
- Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions
In 2013 during Memorial Day weekend distracted driving was the cause of 33 crashes, the leading cause of crashes that weekend and drowsiness was a factor in 8 crashes. Get enough sleep before driving and avoid distractions such as cell phones. This will help assure that your attention is focused on the road. Sleep deprivation and fatigue can cause lapses in attention, slowed awareness and impaired judgment. Don't text and drive. It isn't just dangerous, it is illegal.
- Share The Road
All of us who use Idaho's roadways must keep in mind the other users including motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Motorists are reminded to look twice for motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians and allow safe distances when passing them.
- Move Over
Please observe the "Move Over" law, which requires motorists to slow down and move over, if possible, when approaching a stationary police or authorized emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights. Every year there are a number of public safety personnel that are killed nationwide when parked on the side of the road during the course of their duties. The "Move Over" law helps protect those who risk their lives protecting the public.
Spot what you think might be an impaired driver? Use the Idaho State Police REDDI (Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately) hotline. Dial *ISP (*477) from your cell phone anywhere in Idaho.