Memorial Day 2019
Originating after the American Civil War, known then as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day in which we remember and honor all men and women who have died in service to our great Country. Please, take time to remember those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, and be sure to thank a Veteran.
“I would like to thank all of our men and women who have served or are currently in military service to our Country, and I would like for all of us to remember the significance of Memorial Day,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr.
Memorial Day has also become the unofficial start of summer, much like Labor Day is the unofficial start to fall. This means the roadways will be busy across the country. Anyone planning to be on the road over the holiday weekend should plan extra time for travel while remembering to be patient and drive safely.
The following are good reminders as you prepare to take to the road during the Memorial Day travel weekend.
- Buckle your safety belt – it’s the best way to stay safe in a vehicle and remember, the national Click It or Ticket program is in full swing over the holiday weekend
- Put down the cell phone – nearly 10 people are killed and over 1,000 injured every day in crashes involving distracted drivers – don’t text and drive!
- Don’t drink and drive – even one alcoholic drink can reduce your abilities and impair your judgment
- Be prepared – take a map, atlas, or GPS device; make sure your spare tire is inflated and you know how to change it; have your car serviced before heading out; include an emergency kit with water and snacks in case you’re stranded for more than a few hours; refuel BEFORE your gas warning indicator displays
- Turn down the music – hearing sirens and emergency vehicles is an important warning to slow down and drive cautiously - you may be approaching an accident scene
- Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel – eating, looking for CDs, and digging for things in the floorboard or back seat can lead to trouble
- Get plenty of rest – make sure you’re well rested before getting behind the wheel, rotate driving duties with others in the car to avoid becoming too sleepy or distracted
- Take frequent breaks – stop, get out of the vehicle, and stretch your legs often
- Be courteous - because of the volume of vehicles on the road, you’re bound to run into a few traffic jams, be cut off, or be forced to stop short - remain calm and courteous - don’t let other drivers ruin your holiday
All Jefferson County Traffic Enforcement Officers will be assigned to work the entire holiday weekend checking for driving while intoxicated and seatbelt violations.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with law enforcement agencies across the country, have kicked off the annual Click It or Ticket campaign. The initiative, which began May 20th and continues through June 2nd, encourages people to buckle up. “Enforcement will be increased during the Memorial Day weekend as we have seen an increase in seatbelt violations as well as DWI’s,” said Woods.
Though it is not expected to be much traffic on the water, Sheriff’s Office marine deputies will keep an eye out for unsafe boating practices, particularly drunk boating, on Island Harbor, Lake Saracen, Lake Langhofer (slack water harbor) and the Arkansas River. Deputies will be in Patrol Boat 4 (PB4) which is capable of waterway enforcement, search and rescue, and quick deployment. Deputies will also conduct safety checks and ensure that boaters remain vigilant of waterway rules. Many people head offshore to have a good time during the holiday weekend, but boaters should make sure to designate someone sober to bring the vessel and its passengers back to shore safely.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office wishes you a safe Memorial Day Weekend.
Lafayette Woods, Jr.