OHP gives tips for safe Thanksgiving travel

By: Helen Headlee Email
By: Helen Headlee Email

You may be in a rush to hit the open road for Thanksgiving - but it's the highest travel day in Oklahoma so you'll want to slow down and travel safely.

Sergio Gonzalez is heading from Kansas to Texas.

"That's why I planned it," Gonzalez said. "I took the day off today so I can take my time getting down there so if it takes more than nine hours I'm ok."

Taking your time is what the Oklahoma Highway Patrol advises. On a typical Wednesday, 2,200 cars an hour travel I-35. Today from 1 to 8 p.m. that number will more than double to 5,300 cars per hour.

OHP trooper Ronnie Hampton says extra drivers mean more speed, aggression and unsafe lane changes.

"We know that people are gonna drive aggressively, we know that they're gonna get impatient," said Hampton. "We know that they're gonna be running late and they're gonna try to make up lost time."

To keep drivers patient, OHP will place troopers every 10 miles along I-35. Unmarked cars will alert marked units to unsafe drivers. Those marked units will pull over unsafe drivers, and enforce the law.

"We're gonna be writing citations for those violations," Hampton said. "There aren't gonna be any warnings."

If you don't want one of those citations Hampton says you should leave extra time to get to your destination and don't drink and drive. If you see an unsafe driver dial *55 from your cell phone to alert the OHP.

For drivers like Gonzales it's about making it home safely.

"With all the crazy drivers out there I just didn't wanna get caught in the middle of all that," said Gonzalez.

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