Traffic patrols increasing for Thanksgiving

Kingman Police now have the financial backup to keep more eyes out for impaired drivers.

Photo by Aaron Ricca.

Kingman Police now have the financial backup to keep more eyes out for impaired drivers.

KINGMAN – Local and statewide law enforcement agencies will have extra hands on deck scouting for unsafe drivers this Thanksgiving.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety announced they’ll be stepping up patrols to hopefully to reduce fatalities from impaired driving, speeding, aggressive driving and lack of seatbelts and car seats. This includes the use of cell phones and other distractions that can turn from the task of driving into a potentially life threatening accident in the blink of an eye.

“In many cases we find people are speeding because they are distracted,” said AZDPS Spokesman Bart Graves.

Between Nov. 23 – 27, drivers may notice a large presence of troopers throughout the state, especially within the holiday safety corridors. The major interstates always have extra eyes, but U.S. 93 between Phoenix and Las Vegas is the major local corridor with the extra volume of traffic.

“Motorists should pay attention to the driving because they’re going to see more of us,” Graves said.

According to AZDPS, during the 2015 Thanksgiving travel period, troopers investigated 149 collisions where a driver was cited for a speed violation and investigated three fatal collisions statewide. In 2014, troopers investigated four fatal collisions during the same period.

Travelers can prepare themselves by reviewing traffic tips, checking road and weather conditions and carrying supplies in case of an emergency. For more information on road closures or traffic delay, check online at az511.com. For information on weather conditions, go to weather.gov.

The Kingman Police Department will be wielding a heavy hammer this holiday season.

Deputy Chief Rusty Cooper announced KPD has been awarded a $20,000 grant by the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety specifically for overtime and employee related expenses to enhance DUI/Impaired Driving Enforcement throughout the City of Kingman from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2017. The Impaired Driving Program aims to reduce incidences of alcohol and drug related driving, fatalities and injuries through enforcement, education and public awareness throughout Arizona.

KPD is part of the Western Arizona DUI Taskforce, which includes the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, AZDPS and other area agencies along the Colorado River. The DUI taskforce will conduct DUI saturation patrols throughout the year during holidays and special events.

This week kicks off the holiday DUI enforcement season, beginning Wednesday. Members of the Western AZ DUI Taskforce will be on the lookout for impaired drivers. Cooper said that if you’re caught driving under the influence, you will be arrested and your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days.

“We’re trying to deter and prevent (DUI’s),” Cooper said.

So just avoid the hassle and choose a designated driver. KPD wants to remind drivers, “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed.”