State trooper increase patrols ahead of holiday weekend

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WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) – In an effort to decrease the number of crashes, troopers will be patrolling the state’s highways.

Millions of people are expected to travel this year during this holiday, and with Covid restrictions last year, road travel went down, but this year, officials say road deaths went up.  

“Unfortunately, it has been a very deadly year for our trooper area, and the whole state.” Says master trooper, Michael Reichardt. 

According to the Louisiana State Police, the year 2021 surpassed last year’s total number of fatalities in the trooper area. They have investigated 56 fatal crashes, resulting in 67 deaths, 1,700 crashes without injury, in 2021 so far over 900 people have died on Louisiana road ways.

“Especially during this time of year. you know. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, everyone wants to be with their families and have good times, but unfortunately there are still fatal crashes and stuff like that happens.” Says Reichardt. 

But what are some of the simple safety precautions you can take? 

“Just don’t drink and drive.” Says Reichardt.

 “The jails are still open, so if we catch you drinking and driving we are gonna put you in jail for DWI.” Reichardt added. 

Reichardt says buckling up is the most effective way to protect yourself on the road.

“A lot of people are unrestrained that are involved in these crashes. So, just put your seatbelts on. It can save your life.” Says Reichardt.

Other measures include putting your phone away while driving and reducing your speed on the road. 

“We have families too, and we still need time to spend with our families during this holiday season but of course we’re gonna be out here working to make sure that you are safe.” Reichardt added. 

The big takeaway, probably a simple one, is taking these safety precautions seriously. It will help you and others get home safely.

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