OHP gears up for holiday travel

OHP gears up for holiday travel

LAWTON, Okla._Starting Wednesday, troopers will be out in full force looking for drunk drivers, speeders and anyone texting behind the wheel. Eight people died and more than 250 others were injured during the 2014 holiday season in Oklahoma.

Christen Burkhart is from Austin, Texas, and is in Lawton to visit his daughter. He says he is happy to know that OHP will be enforcing both texting and DUI.

"I've seen a couple accidents from it and it's because they are so watching the phone they are not paying attention to where they are going," Burkhart said.

Trooper Drake Green says they have a zero tolerance attitude this holiday season.

"Don't text and drive, because the texting and driving law just went into effect at the first of this month. I assure you we are enforcing that. We are writing citations for that. The cost for texting and driving is going to be $100," Trooper Green explained.

In regard to driving under the influence, troopers say they will take anyone caught drinking and driving to jail.

"When you drive next to the vehicle, you can kind of get some type of idea that the driver is under the influence just by their mannerisms the movements of the vehicle," Trooper Green said.

Hazel Lane-Jones is heading from Lawton to Oklahoma City and says she knows the roads can be dangerous this time of year, which is why she gives herself a little extra time to get to her sons house.

"It may take me two hours because sometimes I won't go the interstate. Sometimes I'll go around 81, get on the highway at Chickasha. I just take my time, it's kind of like a scenic route," Lane-Jones said.

No matter which way home is for the holidays, be sure to take your time and follow the law because OHP will be watching.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is also taking part in the 3rd annual Interstate 40 Challenge. They are hoping to encourage travelers to pay attention and "drive to zero fatalities," saying the goal of enforcing the laws is to keep families safe this holiday season. You can read more about the challenge here.