Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers aren’t taking the holiday weekend off. In fact, Capt. Ronnie Hampton, commander OHP Troop F headquartered in Ardmore, says there will be more troopers than usual on area roads, highways and Interstate 35.
“We will have increased patrols throughout the seven-county (Carter, Johnston, Love, Marshall, Murray, Garvin and Pontotoc) area,” Hampton said.
And that’s not the only place those enjoying the holiday weekend should expect to encounter troopers. Hampton said there will also be a special Point of Last Drink operation conducted Saturday in Carter County.
“We are planning another large scale DUI saturation patrol in Carter County focusing on the areas where our Point of Last Drink data shows to be a problem,” the troop commander said.
Troop F troopers conducted a similar POLD operation during the July 4th holiday. That concentrated effort resulted in 22 DUI arrests.
“So people need to make good decisions now,” Hampton said.
In addition to specific area efforts, Troop F troopers will also be participating with their counterparts throughout the state in two nationwide safety campaigns. Oklahoma Department of Public Safety officials said OHP is participating in Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort, known as “Operation C.A.R.E.,” as well as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” a special emphasis that began Aug. 15 and runs through Sept. 3.
“Our troopers will be out in force this Labor Day weekend looking for impaired, intoxicated and reckless drivers and boat operators. We will also be enforcing safety belt and child restraint laws. All of our efforts are focused on providing the public with a safe holiday,” said Col. Ricky Adams, Chief of Patrol.
Motorists are urged to drive safely and sober, wear safety belts, and ensure all child passengers are properly restrained. Troopers are asking citizens to report unsafe drivers or boat operators by calling *55 from any mobile device.
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Oklahoma Labor Day 2013 statistics
- Statewide - 480 crashes
- Injuries - 291
43 injured in alcohol-related crashes
- Fatalities — 12 people died
3 died in alcohol-related crashes
1 person was not wearing a seat belt
3 motorcyclists were not wearing helmets