OHP warns of Labor Day crackdown on drivers

OKLAHOMA CITY — Public Safety officials will be participating in anationwide campaign this Labor Day weekend in an effort to reduce highwaytraffic deaths and injury collisions on Oklahoma highways. "OperationC.A.R.E." (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) began at 6 p.m. Friday and runs through midnight Monday.Col. Kerry Pettingill, Chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said, "During this holiday period our troopers will be out in force watching for impaired, intoxicated and reckless drivers. We will also be visiting with those individuals who neglect to wear their safety belts or fail to protect their children by use of child restraints."The Oklahoma Highway Patrol encourages motorists to watch for motorcyclists during the long holiday weekend by looking twice before changing lanes and before turning.Labor Day 2012, four people were killed in three fatal crashes. Two of those crashes were alcohol related. Of the four people killed last Labor Day, three were in a passenger vehicle and one was a motorcyclist. There were 1,011 people injured in motor vehicle crashes last year over the Labor Day weekend."We'd also like to remind boaters that required safety equipment such as personal flotation devices will be enforced over the holiday and our Marine Enforcement troopers will be taking impaired and intoxicated boat operators to jail this weekend," said Pettingill.Children age 12 and younger and all operators and passengers on a personal watercraft are required to wear a life jacket and it is illegal to operate a boat or waterborne vessel while under the influence of intoxicants and/or alcohol and the penalties are the same as operating a motor vehicle on the roadway; including jail time, fines and court costs.The Oklahoma Highway Patrol encourages citizens to report unsafe divers or boat operators by calling Star 55 (*55) from any mobile device anywhere in the state.