Written by The Herald-News
Summer is coming to an end, but before fall arrives, people will be enjoying Labor Day weekend. It is a time to enjoy the last days of summer and travel to see Montana sights. The Montana Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for impaired drivers over Labor Day weekend. They will be stepping up patrols to keep everyone safe on the roadways.
“Labor Day can be a dangerous time of year on the roadways,” said Colonel Kenton Hickethier, Chief Administrator of the Montana Highway Patrol. “All of us in law enforcement want everyone to enjoy the last weekend of summer, but we want people to know we will be pulling over anyone who appears to be driving while under the influence.”
In Montana, the last three Labor Day weekends (Thursday through Monday) five people died due to impaired driving. During the same time period, there were 793 crashes. “We would like to see this number at zero this year. Drinking and driving is not worth the risk,” said Col. Hickethier.
Impaired driving is not just a problem in Montana. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during Labor Day in 2011, a total of 138 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 g/dL or higher.
During traffic stops, law enforcement officers also will be on the look out for people not wearing a seatbelt. “Montana does have a seatbelt law, and we will ticket you if you are not wearing one. We want everyone in the car to wear their seatbelt because a seatbelt can protect you from serious injury or death. They are your first line of defense against unsafe drivers,” Col. Hickethier stated.
The public can help keep the roads safe for travelers. If anyone sees a driver who appears impaired, call 855-MHP-3777 or 911.
For interesting videos and more safety-related information, access the Montana Department of Transportation’s website www.plan2live.mt.gov.