Louisiana State Police is reminding Louisiana residents to drive safely on the roadways this New Year's Eve.
Troopers say that celebrations across the state will increase traffic on highways and that necessary precautions should be taken to prevent fatal and serious injury crashes.
"The task of reducing crashes and preventing a holiday tragedy is the responsibility of both law enforcement and the public," said LSP. "Through preventative steps and safe choices by drivers and passengers in motor vehicles, the vast majority of holiday crashes can be prevented."
Troopers say they are partnering with law enforcement agencies across the state to conduct proactive enforcement in support of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
State Police shared the following safety guidelines below:
Designate a Sober Driver
- Thousands of people 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 by alcohol or other substance.
- Alcohol has many effects on the body. It can impair visual ability, fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle and increase reaction times.
- Designate a sober driver before traveling to any place where alcohol will be consumed. A designated driver is one who has had zero alcohol to drink.
- In addition to alcohol, illicit drugs, prescriptions and some over-the-counter medications can impair anyone who ingests them. Please ensure that any required medication does not impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle; speak with your physician about specific medications.
- Call a taxi, ride-sharing service or a trusted person for a ride or just stay where you are.
- For more information on impaired driving, visit: https://www.lahighwaysafety.org/Pages/OurPrograms/ImpairedDriving.aspx
- Louisiana law requires that every person in a motor vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled. Troopers urge all drivers and passengers in motor vehicles to understand that failure to buckle up can quickly become a tragic and fatal decision.
- Statistics show that the chances of surviving a violent crash rise significantly when properly restrained.
- To review the current seat belt law, visit: https://www.lahighwaysafety.org/Pages/OurPrograms/OccupantProtection.aspx
Child Passenger Restraints
- Louisiana law requires all children to be properly restrained in the proper child seat for their age, weight and height. Children 12 years of age or younger are required to ride in the rear seat, if seating is available.
- To review the current law, or to find the fitting station nearest you, visit: https://www.lahighwaysafety.org/Pages/OurPrograms/ChildPassengerSafety.aspx
- If your travel plans take you out of our state, please visit www.saferide4kids.com for a list of current child passenger restraint laws by state. Every Louisiana State Police Troop is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a child safety seat “Inspection Station”. Please take advantage of these free services to ensure the safety of your child. You can also visit “Buckle Up Louisiana” for information on events and inspection stations, https://www.facebook.com/BuckleUpLouisiana/.
- Inattentive and distracted drivers account for a large number of serious crashes across the state every year.
- You can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by remaining focused on the task of driving while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
- For more information on distracted driving, visit: https://www.lahighwaysafety.org/Pages/OurPrograms/DistractedDriving.aspx
Pedestrians or bicyclists
- Whether you travel on foot or bicycle, wear bright clothing, remain aware of traffic on the roadway, use proper lighting at night, and follow the laws.
- Pedestrians should walk against traffic and should not be in the travel lane, unless crossing at a designated crosswalk.
- Bicycles are required to follow the same laws as vehicles.
- Please allow at least 3 feet between the vehicle and bicycle when passing.
- For more information on bicycle and pedestrian safety, visit the following link: https://www.lahighwaysafety.org/Pages/OurPrograms/BicyclePedestrianSafety.aspx
- Motorcyclists must wear a proper D.O.T. approved helmets when operating a motorcycle on Louisiana roadways.
- Although not all crashes are survivable, properly utilizing safety equipment, like approved motorcycle helmets and proper clothing, greatly decreases your risk of serious injury or death.
- For more information on motorcycle safety, visit: https://www.lahighwaysafety.org/Pages/OurPrograms/MotorcycleSafety.aspx
For the latest road condition information including closures and construction, visit www.511la.org or dial 511 from any phone in Louisiana. The “Louisiana 511” phone app is also available for download. Motorists can sign up for Twitter traffic alerts from DOTD, as well as stay up to date with important information from the Louisiana State Police Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Motorists that witness hazardous road conditions and/or reckless drivers are encouraged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the nearest Louisiana State Police Troop location.
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