Local public safety officials are making their annual pre-Memorial Day weekend plea for extra attention on the roadways and waterways as celebrations unfold.
State Patrol Lieutenant Gordon Shank says drivers carrying a lot of gear in their cars and trucks need to make sure they secure their load before leaving the driveway.
“We’ve had fatal crashes as a result of debris coming off of another vehicle or another trailer. So please, I’m begging you, make sure you check everything before you head out,” Shank said. “It’s been a long winter, and we’re finally getting out. We want everyone to do it safely, and the last thing we want is something coming off a vehicle that’s completely preventable.”
Patrol officials say our nice weather this weekend is expected to increase traffic levels and lure more people than usual to state parks, lakes, and other attractions.
With increased traffic comes an increased likelihood of accidents, most of which can be prevented.
When it comes to those hitting the lake or river this holiday weekend, Commander Tim Harris with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, stressed life jackets for all and sober boating.
“Just like driving a car, boating requires an operator’s full attention and clear judgment,” Harris said. “Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs puts everyone on board at risk, as well as others in the water.”
Harris says his office will have extra patrols on the waterways this weekend, including the always-busy St. Croix River.