Drivers beware July 4; OHP, LPD out in full force

Lawton_It doesn't matter where you'll be going this weekend, because troopers will be nearly everywhere.  They'll be stationed coast-to-coast all along I-40 and I-44 in Oklahoma every 15 miles, so be sure to slow down.  They're giving up their holiday for your safety this weekend preparing for "Operation CARE".  The "Combined Accident Reduction Effort (CARE)" is the OHP's best effort to keep holiday travel deaths down.

With "Operation CARE" there will be an overall increase in troopers on Oklahoma state highways from midnight Thursday until midnight  Sunday.  "We're going to be everywhere," says Oklahoma Highway Patrolman Richard Van Horn.  "We're going to be patrolling all the highways, the interstates, and all of the county roads."

Highway troopers across the country will be watching out for driver safety - particularly drunk drivers.  "There's going to be people who have decided to drink, and then decided to make an unsafe decision and drive a car," says Van Horn.  "So, they will be out there and we will be looking for them."

However, troopers will be looking for speeders too.  "The slower you're going, if you make a movement in the vehicle, the less that movement's going to affect the vehicle," says Van Horn.  "The faster you go, the more that little movement is going to affect the vehicle greatly - it could cause you to lose control and crash your car."

And, don't forget to wear your seatbelt.  They'll be keeping a close eye out for those not wearing seatbelts - especially for drivers who do not strap their children in correctly.  "They are your children," he says.  "The last thing we want someone to do is get in a crash, and needlessly, a child get hurt that should have been buckled in and it wouldn't have happened."

"Operation CARE" launched in 1977, and they say this weekend's patrols will use at least 90% of the officers and resources.  Lawton will also have extra law enforcement assigned to traffic arriving and leaving the concert at Fort Sill on Friday night, as well as the lakes the entire weekend.  Slow down, buckle up, and don't drink and drive - troopers and local police will be watching.