OHP to be on lookout for reckless holiday driving - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

OHP to be on lookout for reckless holiday driving

Lawton_Almost a half-million Oklahomans will be on the road during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend according to AAA.  It's a slight decrease from last year, but lower gas prices are making it more affordable to travel.  One year ago, the average gallon of gas cost more than $3, but on Friday, drivers in Lawton got gas as cheap as $1.66 per gallon - the cheapest in three years.  It cost twice as much only two months ago.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) says it hopes low gas prices don't lead to more traffic accidents.  Troopers say that with gas prices down, they expect drivers to be more inclined to make road trips.  However, they advise against driving dangerously.  They're preparing to hit the highway, and have no problem handing out a lot of tickets if it means folks will drive more safely.

Troopers say that they don't want this Thanksgiving weekend to be as deadly as last year's.  "Last year there were 13 fatality accidents in the state," said OHP Troop G Trooper John Hoover.  "We'd like to try and see that reduced this year, and hopefully we'll have none."  The OHP says it will be cracking down on drivers violating basic rules of the road - particularly failure to buckle up.  "75-percent of your injuries that are involved with accidents are people not wearing their seat belts," said Hoover.  "The main thing is to wear your seat belt - and don't drink and drive."

Troopers say they will write tickets for behavior that indicates impairment, such as veering out of lanes, and failing to use turn signals.  Of course, they also will issue tickets to drivers for speeding - so, don't rush to get to Grandma's!  "Make sure you leave enough time, don't just jump in the car at the last minute and decide to go," said Hoover.  "Plan that out and leave yourself plenty of time."  Troopers also ask that drivers do not talk on cell phones- or text - while driving.

For those who choose to fly this holiday season, there are things travelers can do to make the trip easier.  Airport officials discourage packing wrapped presents in luggage.  While they won't unwrap all gifts, anything security officials find suspicious will be unwrapped.  Get to the airport an hour early.  Although the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport isn't big, it's still a good idea to get there at least an hour early to get checked in.  Holiday flights are currently booked at 70% of capacity, and with more flights compared to last year, there likely will be more Thanksgiving travelers.

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