This upcoming holiday weekend will be celebrated by many hitting the road and traveling to and through the Sunflower State. The Kansas Turnpike Authority, Kansas Department of Transportation, and the Kansas Highway Patrol are partnering to remind motorists the importance of traveling safely during Independence Day and throughout the rest of the summer.
“Remember to celebrate safely this upcoming holiday weekend,” said Colonel Herman T. Jones, superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “Please make sure you and your loved ones are always buckled up when you get into a vehicle, and don’t drive impaired or distracted. If you plan on drinking over the weekend, make a plan to get home safely by designating your sober driver before you celebrate.”
From July 1 through July 4, Patrol personnel will be working in support of the Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) enforcement along with personnel from other states. C.A.R.E. focuses on occupant protection, impaired driving laws, and other crash-causing traffic violations. C.A.R.E.’s goals are increased safety and ease of travel on our nation’s roadways.
In 2021, there were 399 crashes during the Independence Day holiday period resulting in 110 injuries and six fatalities.
“Every time I read an article about someone losing their life in a traffic crash, I think of the incredible loss for them, their family, and friends,” said Kansas Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz. “Many crashes can be prevented by making safety your top priority – wear a seat belt, eliminate distractions, don’t drive impaired, and follow posted traffic regulations. Every time you travel, make it a goal to make it to your destination safely.”
Before travelers pack their cars, they can check their route for potential delays or construction with the help of KanDrive at www.kandrive.org. KanDrive includes camera images, interactive maps, and links to rest areas, travel, and tourism sites.
“We know that summer travel can be stressful but preparing in advance can help with that. Besides keeping an emergency kit in the vehicle, a K-TAG makes travel even easier,” said KTA CEO, Steve Hewitt. “With a K-TAG, you’ll be able to keep moving through the tolling area without stopping, which improves overall safety, but it also works in Oklahoma and Texas. It’s perfect for regional travel.”
As you enjoy summer travels and celebrate Independence Day, the agencies offer some tips:
- It’s hot out there so make sure your vehicle is in proper working order for the heat of summer – check fluids, tires, air conditioning, and cooling system.
- When you leave, start with a full tank of gas and a fully charged phone.
· Plan your route of travel and check www.kandrive.org for construction and other issues with your travel plans. The site also has links to other states’ travel information. Also, be sure to give a family member your travel plans.
- As you travel, remember to MOVE OVER for first responders and highway maintenance crews. If you are unable to MOVE OVER, then please SLOW DOWN.
- In case of a break down, keep emergency supplies in your car, including bottles of water, a phone charger, and non-perishable food items.
- Ensure everyone in your vehicle is using their seat belt and/or appropriately fitted child safety seat.
- Arrange for a designated driver ahead of time if you will be consuming alcohol. Do not drink and drive.
- If you are hosting a party, have non-alcoholic drink alternatives available for designated drivers.
If you should need any help on a Kansas highway, call KHP for assistance at *47 (HP) or *582 (KTA) for the Kansas Turnpike.