The Kansas Highway Patrol, along with local law enforcement agencies throughout the state, will be participating in the Kansas Thanksgiving Enforcement Campaign from November 23-29. This Special Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) is funded by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) and is intended to minimize traffic-related injuries and fatalities.
The Patrol and other agencies will focus on impaired drivers, child passenger safety laws, and seat belt use among travelers of all ages. Because of the STEP campaign funding, there will be more law enforcement officers on Kansas’ streets and highways during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period when travel increases in Kansas and across the nation.
During the 2008 Thanksgiving reporting period there were 746 collisions resulting in 208 injuries, and four deaths. Of these crashes, 62 were alcohol related, resulting in 46 injuries and three deaths.
“The Kansas Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies across the state join KDOT in recognizing the importance and life-saving value of extra law enforcement presence during the high-travel holiday season,” said Patrol Superintendent, Colonel Terry Maple. “Thank you to KDOT for looking out for Kansas citizens and travelers by providing funding for the STEP campaign. It will go a long way to help families come together safely for the Thanksgiving holiday.”
On average across Kansas six people are killed or injured in nine alcohol-related crashes each day. Failure to buckle up can contribute to needless death and injury. Those who don’t buckle up are about 12 times more likely to be killed, and almost twice as likely to suffer injury, than those who regularly use a seatbelt. Injuries suffered by those who are not buckled up are likely to be much more severe than those properly using a safety restraint.
According to KDOT, vehicle occupants in alcohol-related crashes are over 2 ½ times more likely to be injured or killed than those involved in crashes when alcohol is not a factor. Each week across Kansas nearly 350 drivers are arrested
for Driving Under the Influence. Sometimes overlooked is the fact that a DUI conviction creates a criminal record for the driver, results in suspension of the driver’s license, and is made a permanent part of the driver’s record.
Travel can be made safer by allowing extra time to get to your destination, checking the road conditions before leaving, and keeping your vehicle’s maintenance up to date. Always use your seatbelt, no matter how far you are
traveling, as it is your best defense from injury should you be involved in a collision. Updated weather and highway
conditions are available by calling 511 in Kansas or 1-866-511-KDOT from out of state. To view KDOT’s on-line road conditions, go to: http://www.ksdot.org/offTransInfo/511Info/511traffictravel.asp.