With Oklahoma returning to a sense of normalcy after the COVID-19 situation, that means lakes and rivers will be ready for guests this Memorial Day weekend.
While social distancing and hand hygiene are still important, so is the need to socialize and be with friends during the opening of the summer season.
If you're headed to the lake, river, or down the road to celebrate the long weekend, make sure you pack a plan to get home safe.
During the 2019 Memorial Day holiday period in Oklahoma, two people were killed in crashes, one of those was in an alcohol-related crash. That's down significantly from 11 people killed in 2018. While that decline is great news, Oklahoma still lost two people last year in preventable crashes.
If you're headed to the lake or river, make sure you have all the supplies you'll need before you make camp. This will save you from having to run back to the store after you've been drinking.
"We will have troopers on the roads, in the water, and in the air making sure people are being safe this holiday weekend," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lieutenant Chris Arnall. "We want to make sure everyone enjoys the time with friends and family, but we want them all to make it home safe."
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol want to remind everyone that law enforcement is still on duty and will be looking for impaired drivers this weekend.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol's marine enforcement division, Troop W, will have all available troopers out and working on area lakes this Memorial Day weekend
“We urge everyone to consider safety on the water as well as on the roads," said Troop W Captain, Mike Sharp. "Have a life jacket onboard your vessel for each passenger, children 12 years old or younger must wear a life jacket if they are on a vessel that is less than 26 feet in length. Never operate boats or personal watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs."
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will team up with local law enforcement across the state to put a special emphasis on impaired driving enforcement this weekend. Several agencies in the areas around popular lakes and rivers will have officers working with the ENDUI Oklahoma Impaired Driving Liaison troopers to get impaired drivers off the roads.
"We understand everyone wants to have a good time. We just ask that you follow certain rules and use common sense to avoid a tragedy that could have been prevented,” said Captain Sharp.
For more information about crashes during the 2019 Memorial Day holiday period in Oklahoma, click here.
Note: the above referenced data are preliminary and are valid as of 05/15/2020. These data are subject to revision.