Minnesota DPS Urges Sober, Hands-Free Driving
The holiday season isn’t always festive. It can be tragic on the roadways if people drink and drive. That’s why between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, law enforcement is increasing its holiday DWI efforts.
It’s all done to try and create more safety on the road. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety there is usually an uptick in the number of holiday DWI offenses. Accidents increase between late November and early January.
DPS officials want to remind people that they need to make good decisions.
“The simplest way to keep yourself out of the back seat of a squad car, an ambulance or a hearse is to make sure you have a plan and you stick to it,” said Mike Hanson of the DPS. “So make sure you’ve got that designated driver or ride service, or some way that’s not going to put you into a decision where you make a bad decision.”
Cracking down on distracted driving
Besides holiday DWI efforts, law enforcement wants to make it clear that another no-no on the highway is using your phone. Minnesota’s hands free law went into effect on August 1. The DPS says it is too early to look at any trends to see how much of an impact the law is making.
Officers are seeing more compliance, but also say some drivers have slipped back into bad habits. Drivers need to remember that the only thing allowed is single touch or voice activation. No texting, talking while holding the phone or internet surfing is allowed. It is simply too risky.
“Is this interaction with that electronic device worth putting myself and everybody else on the road in danger because of that interaction?” Hanson said. “I think most of us would understand that there are very few things that we need to do that can’t wait until we get to a safe place to do that – out of traffic.”
The DPS also recommends that drivers slow down and leave plenty of space between the car or truck in front of you. Another key is to always wear your seat belt when travelling on the road.