Louisiana State Police urge holiday safety

Staff reports

It’s the holiday visitor you don’t want to hear from—a trooper at your front door making a death notification for a family member.  Unfortunately, dozens of families in Louisiana may receive just such a visit this holiday season, and troopers are asking drivers to be mindful of the risks of holiday travel.  The fewer homes visited the better.

Historically, the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on Louisiana roads due in part to increases in traffic volume as well as an increase in impaired driving.  Last year in the month of December, there were 67 fatal crashes statewide.  Of those, almost half involved a driver impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.

Troopers encourage drivers to plan ahead if they intend on consuming alcohol, by using designated drivers or making other travel arrangements.  For those who make poor decisions by driving after drinking, the likelihood of apprehension and arrest will be increased.   

Troopers and local law enforcement partners will be extremely vigilant and aggressive in pursuit of dangerous drivers.  In addition to looking for impaired drivers, they will also be focusing enforcement on motorists not wearing seat belts or not properly securing children, dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding and following too close, and distracted driving.

“We want this to be a safe holiday season for families throughout the state, safe at home and safe on our highways,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent.  “Troopers will do their part, but we cannot do it alone.  We need drivers to drive sober and everyone in a vehicle to buckle up, and if they take our advice we will significantly reduce deaths and injuries this holiday season.”

Troopers encourage the public to report impaired or aggressive drivers by dialing *LSP (*577) from their cellular phone which will connect them with a State Police Troop.