St. Patrick's Traffic Safety - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

St. Patrick's Traffic Safety

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If you are out on the roads this weekend, you won't be alone.
Several area police departments are running extra patrols because of the St. Patrick's Day holiday.
The numbers are more staggering than the amount of cars you'll see on the road during a typical rush hour. Iowa State Police say in recent years, two of every five traffic deaths that happened on this holiday involved a drunk driver.
Last March, eight people lost their lives and a double fatality happened on St. Patrick's Day weekend, a weekend that has changed over the years from the wearing of the green to the drinking of the green beer and that has officers issuing a warning.

"Make sure it's a safe and happy holiday rather than a nightmare that a family will live with for the rest of their live because of a bad choice," Iowa State Patrol Trooper Dan Loussaert said. "Really we want people to make good choices, if you're out at a party and you're planning to drink, just designate a sober driver or make arrangements in advance to stay at a party or to get other transportation."
If you do hit the road, he says buckle up and put your cell phone down, important not only this weekend but every weekend especially as we head into the spring season.
Trooper Loussaert tells us as temperatures rise, speeds seem to as well.

"We just get excited, you're happy and if you're not paying attention, a lot of times, you're just going faster than you realize," Loussaert said.
He says the key is paying attention. If you're doing that, most crashes are preventable, ensuring a safer, happier holiday weekend.
In Scott County, Illinois DOT data shows 10 people in the past five years have lost their lives in crashes on St. Patrick's Day.
Police on both sides of the river will be out in force through the March 17th holiday looking for drunk drivers, speeders or those who aren't buckled up.



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