The Christmas and New Year’s travel season has arrived and the Kansas Highway Patrol urges motorists to practice safety on the roads this holiday season. More people will be traveling, impaired drivers could be encountered, and winter weather is always a threat this time of year.
According to the agency, the Patrol and other agencies will focus on impaired drivers, child passenger safety laws, and seat belt use among travelers of all ages. There will be more law enforcement officers on Kansas streets and highways during the holiday season as travel increases.
Motorists can be prepared for a safer traveling experience by using the following tips:
- Prepare your vehicle for travel by replacing your wiper blades, ensuring your tires have good tread, and checking your vehicle’s fluids, exhaust system, and other mechanical equipment.
- Always wear your seat belt, and properly secure children in the appropriate safety seats.
- If you’re involved in a non-injury crash that involves non-hazardous materials, move your vehicle out of the lane of traffic to protect yourself and other motorists.
- Always make sure you designate a sober driver for a safe ride home from your holiday festivities. Law enforcement will be out working, and they remind you to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
- Stock your vehicle with items that would be beneficial if you become involved in a crash, such as bottled water, blankets, non-perishable food, first aid kit and a flashlight with extra batteries.
- When you leave, start with a full tank of gas and a fully charged phone.
- Dress for the weather. If you plan to travel in cold weather, make sure you have a coat in the vehicle and warm shoes in case you need to stop for any reason.
- Check your route of travel for road conditions and/or construction work or other delays before you leave. Call 5-1-1 from any phone or visit www.kandrive.org to check road conditions in the state of Kansas.
- As you travel, remember to MOVE OVER for first responders and highway maintenance crews. If you are unable to MOVE OVER, then please SLOW DOWN.
Arrange for a designated driver or ride share ahead of time if you will be consuming alcohol. Do not drink and drive, and do not let your family or friends drive while impaired. If you are hosting a party, have non-alcoholic drink alternatives available for designated drivers.
If you find yourself in need of assistance on a Kansas highway this holiday season, dial *47 (*HP), or dial *582 (*KTA) while on the Kansas Turnpike, and we’ll send someone to assist. The Kansas Highway Patrol would like to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season, and we hope you are able to enjoy time spent with loved ones.