Travel Law Enforcement Stricter on Holiday Weekends
The first of the major travel holidays of the year will arrive this weekend with the celebration of Labor Day. More traffic will be hitting the roadways, and with the increased traffic comes an increased chance of accidents. Because of this, you will also see an increase in the amount of law enforcement visible – it’s not a coincidence, but rather a part of a nationwide initiative known as CARE, which brings expanded and stricter enforcement of laws, in an effort to make sure travelers reach their destination safely.
The increased scrutiny for the Memorial Day time period has already begun, and will continue through the weekend. Trooper John Carpenter of the Virginia State Police explained more.
“The whole CARE thing is Nationwide, it’s called the Combined Accident Reduction Effort. It was started back in 1977 by members of the Michigan and Indiana State Police and over time it’s grown, and it’s pretty much nationwide and up in Canada as well.
“State and local agencies are out in full force, so I just wanted to the people, be aware of what’s going on out there again, this coming holiday travel season. The CARE weekends are strict traffic enforcement. You’re going to see amped up everything. You’re going to see a lot of troopers, deputies and city PD’s. They are going to be out and about, and it’s strict traffic enforcement on everything that would normally cause a crash – speed, distracted driving, like we already spoke about before.
“The high visibility on patrols is nationwide on all the national holidays – Memorial Day is coming up soon, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and the week before Christmas. So there’s six times you’re going to see a rush of law enforcement on the back roads and the interstates.
“The State Police is going to have 75% of their troopers on the road that weekend. Whatever discretion that’s out there is more than likely going to be dropped – that bar of discretion will fall a smidge. We do have three choices – we can warn, summons and arrest. But, on CARE holiday weekends, we are a little more stricter. We tighten up, on speeds, equipment, of course, there is no tightening up on DUI’s – if you’re doing it, you’re going to get arrested. But the speeds, that’s a main high point for CARE holidays, because that’s also a contributor to most crashes – people that are driving way too fast for their abilities, and for the abilities of their vehicle.”
Trooper Carpenter offered some basic tips drivers should remember before hitting the road.
“Be well rested – don’t work a full day of work, and then jump in your vehicle with your family. Check your equipment – make sure your tire pressure is good to go, of course your gas. Is your inspection up to date, is your registration good to go? Wear your seat belts, make sure everything works.”