Kansas roads will soon be busy with holiday travelers going to and from their destinations for Thanksgiving. The Kansas Highway Patrol, along with other law enforcement agencies across the state, will participate in the annual Special Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP). The STEP program is courtesy of a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
According to the agency, the KHP and other agencies will focus on impaired drivers, child passenger safety laws, and seat belt use among travelers of all ages. Because of the program, there will be more law enforcement officers on Kansas streets and highways during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period while travel increases.
Before hitting the road this holiday season, the Patrol encourages motorists to take the following things into consideration:
- Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Check tires’ tread depth and air pressure; check the vehicle’s fluids, exhaust system and other mechanical equipment. If traveling in cold conditions, make sure added precautions are taken for the cold weather.
- When you leave, start with a full tank of gas and a fully charged phone.
- The vehicle should also be stocked with items that would be beneficial if you were involved in a crash, such as bottled water, blankets, non-perishable food, first aid kit and a flashlight with extra batteries.
- Make sure to plan your route of travel and communicate this to your family in case you are involved in a crash or experience mechanical problems with your vehicle.
- 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.
- Remember, we are in the peak time for car-deer crashes in our state. Look out for deer, and if you see one, remember they seldom travel alone, so more could be following.
- Check your route of travel for road conditions and/or construction work or other delays before you leave. The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) provides a 511 road condition hotline for motorists to use. Call 5-1-1 from any phone or visit 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.
- Ensure everyone in your vehicle is using their seat belt and/or appropriately fitted child safety seat.
- Arrange for a designated driver 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, please dial *47 (*HP), or dial *582 (*KTA) on the Kansas Turnpike, and we’ll send someone to assist. We wish all our travelers a safe and happy Thanksgiving!