To many Americans, the Fourth of July is a special time to join friends and family in celebrating our nation's birthday. Unfortunately, summer also represents the deadliest time of year on our highways.
The Washington State Patrol is preparing for the upcoming holiday weekend by placing additional troopers along the Olympic Peninsula - to target those drivers who choose to speed and drive impaired.
Motorists should expect to see heavier traffic volumes along the peninsula, as we anticipate an increase in motorcycles over the holiday weekend. The peninsula has always been popular with tourists and motorcyclists because of its spectacular views of the mountains and water.
"Choosing to drink and drive could easily turn a holiday that is meant to be enjoyed into a tragedy," said WSP Captain Steve Sutton. "Have fun with family and friends, but please be responsible and make the right decisions."
The main highways running along the Olympic Peninsula consist of two lanes with narrow shoulders. As a motorist, here are some steps you can take to have a safe and happy holiday:
- Be aware of motorcycles! The motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway. Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.
- If you or one of your friends has been drinking, don't drive! Call a friend, a taxi, or a tow truck to get home. While this may be inconvenient, it may save a life.
- Think and plan ahead, allow yourself enough time to get where you need to go so you don't need to speed to get there.
- Take your time and slow down, especially if the driving conditions warrant it and be sure to wear your seatbelt.
- If you are on the road and come across someone who you suspect might be under the influence, or is driving dangerously, immediately call 9-1-1 (if it is safe for you to do so). If a trooper is in the area, they will be able to stop the vehicle before it has a chance to cause injury to someone else.
The Washington State Patrol has dedicated itself to public safety, and throughout this holiday weekend, we will be working around the clock to ensure safety on our roadways. Please do your part this holiday weekend in helping us with this effort. Remember that taking a few extra minutes to slow down or demand that someone who has been drinking not drive can mean the difference between life and death. Driving impaired is simply not worth any of the pain you can cause yourself or someone else.
Additional patrols will be working over the weekend in the following areas:
Mason County -2 additional troopers.
Clallam and Jefferson ounties - 5 additional troopers.
Kitsap County - 3 additional troopers.
Grays Harbor County - 3 additional troopers.
Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties - 2 additional troopers.