By Randy Mitchell

City Editor

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office is urging motorists to plan responsibly for holiday weekends.

A report from OHSO said Oklahoma roadways are expected to be busy during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday weekends.

“While you’re making plans to celebrate, take a little time to make smart choices about your travel, too,” said Alice Collinsworth, OHSO communications manager. “Law enforcement officers will be cracking down on drivers who break the laws. Whether you’re traveling across town or across the state, the decisions are the same. Buckle up, obey traffic laws and don’t drink and drive.”

During the 2009 Christmas holiday period (6 p.m. Dec. 24 through midnight Dec. 27) nine people died on Oklahoma Roadways. During the New Year holiday period (6 p.m. Dec. 31, 2009 through Jan. 3, 2010), five people died in Oklahoma crashes.

OHSO recommends making sure children are placed in age-appropriate child restraint systems and all adults are buckled up. Motorists should be alert to local traffic laws, including construction and work zones.

“If alcohol is part of your celebration, plan ahead to designate a non-drinking driver,” Collinsworth said. “If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement or dial *55 from any cell phone to alert the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.”

She said motorists should plan ahead for inclement weather, and make sure the vehicle is in good working condition and contains appropriate emergency equipment.

“With Christmas Day and New Year’s Day falling on Saturdays when more people will be traveling, and with the possibility of wintry weather, Oklahomans need to be particularly vigilant,” Collinsworth said. “We want everyone to arrive safely at his or her holiday destination.”

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