“Historically, injury and fatal crashes increase over the days surrounding the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays,” stated Jimmy Chavez, President of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association. “Increased traffic means drivers need to increase their awareness behind the wheel. We want to make sure everyone makes it to their Thanksgiving destination safety.”
AHPA is asking the public to be especially careful this weekend driving and offers the following travel advice to drivers.
- Plan enough time for your drive and do not speed.
- Eliminate driver distractions – limit cell phone use to emergencies only.
- Check your vehicle ahead of time. This includes fluid levels, belts, hoses and tires
- Be prepared for the unexpected. You might see a delay due to accidents, road closures, inclement weather or drivers who appear to be lost.
- Be rested before traveling and take breaks during long drives.
- Carry an emergency kit that includes items such as a cell phone, a flashlight and extra batteries, flares, jumper cables, basic repair tools and lots of water.
- Watch out for other drivers. People can become frustrated, and even aggressive when driving in traffic or for long lengths of time.
- AHPA encourages anyone on the road to call 9-1-1 if you view suspicious or aggressive drivers, breakdowns and accidents.
- Use a designated driver or call a taxi if consuming alcoholic beverages or taking impairing medications.
Important Driving Laws
Remember the “Move Over Law” (ARS §28-775E-1-2). Move over one lane or slow down for vehicles on the side of the road. Help keep our DPS officers safe when responding to emergencies.
Buckle Up (ARS §28-909) AHPA wants everyone to be safe, and putting seat belts on all passengers, no matter their age or location, is important. Child safety restraints (ARS §28-907) can be installed with proper notice from your local police or fire department.
Don’t drink and drive (ARS §4-244.33, §28-1383, §28-1383). AHPA members estimate HALF of alcohol related DUI’s include prescription drugs.
Adult DUI penalties (A.R.S. §28-1381) include at least 10 consecutive days in jail, no less than $2500 in fines and an interlock device. If a driver is convicted of a second DUI in less than seven years they must spend at least 90 days in jail, 30 of which must be consecutive, pay at least $5,000 in fines, have their license suspended for one year and participate in 30 hours of community restitution.
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