Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras highway safety

Posted: Feb 13, 2014 6:02 PM by MELISSA CANONE

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Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Executive Director Lt. Col. John LeBlanc is reminding Louisianians to stay safe this Mardi Gras season.

Year after year, Mardi Gras has the dubious distinction of ranking among the deadliest of holidays in Louisiana in terms of fatal and injury crashes. In 2012, the most recent year for which final statistics are available, 537 fatal and injury crashes occurred during the five-day Mardi Gras period, far more than any of the other seven holiday periods for which statistics are compiled. Those 2012 crash incidents involved 10 deaths and 953 injuries. The Memorial Day and Thanksgiving holidays in 2012 experienced slightly more traffic fatalities, but were far behind in the number of crashes involving deaths and injuries.

Fatal and injury crashes tend to increase during holidays, so the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission focuses a lot of effort on trying to keep motorists safe during those periods. During certain holidays, including Mardi Gras, the Commission provides grants to State Police and dozens of local law enforcement agencies to increase their patrols and conduct sobriety or seat belt check points. Intense and highly visible enforcement is a proven method of promoting highway safety.

Louisiana Highway Safety Commission's message this Mardi Gras is to enjoy the holiday, but under no circumstances should you get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you've been drinking.

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