Monday, November 23, 2009

Driver Safety Story

IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE - generated by our News Release ListServer

Region 4 Patrol 218 West Yakima, Jerome, ID (208) 324-6000
Fax (208) 324-7897
For further information, contact Captain Kedrick Wills at (208)324-6000 or (208)736-3070

For Immediate Release: 11/23/2009 2:00pm
Contact: Captain Kedrick Wills

Driving safely... so easy everyone should do it

Many think aggressive drivers are only those who display their aggression with such acts as tailgating, cutting in front of other vehicles, or expressing their impatience with rude hand-gestures or verbal harangues. While these acts certainly are among the most egregious forms of aggressive driving, Corporal Aaron Bingham and Trooper Tyler Barrett of the Idaho State Police say motorists driving over the speed limit, driving a vehicle without properly functioning equipment, talking or texting on cell phones, and even eating while driving, are also considered aggressive drivers.

"When your attention is not 100 percent focused on the act of driving, the chances of you being involved in a vehicle crash rise dramatically," Barrett said. "When you mix driving at freeway speeds of 75 m.p.h. with lack of attention, the results can be deadly."

Bingham and Barrett are members of the Region 4 Idaho State Police Aggressive Driver Strike Team. This week, ISP troopers will be out in force on the day before Thanksgiving, with the stated goal of working toward a "zero fatality" holiday weekend. Region 4 has investigated five fatality crashes in the past seven weeks, all of which occurred due to some form of aggressive driving.

"With the increased volume of traffic we expect over the Thanksgiving weekend, people need to be especially careful," Barrett said. "Among the easiest ways to avoid a crash is to slow down. For people involved in a crash, the chances of surviving are increased many-fold simply by buckling up."

Last year, on the day before Thanksgiving, Region 4 Troopers conducted 245 calls for service. These calls included 198 traffic stops, 3 vehicle accidents, 31 motorist assists, 3 agency assists, and 10 calls for abandoned vehicles, traffic hazards, etc.

"People need to understand when they drive aggressively they are not only endangering themselves, they are endangering every other motorist. The effects and consequences of a fatality or serious injury accident are far reaching. Such a tragedy seems even more profound when it occurs during the holiday season."

Barrett says there are many ways to avoid becoming an aggressive driver or being the victim of an aggressive driver.

"Make sure you're rested before you begin travelling. Make sure you know what route your taking, and give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination," Barrett said. "Most importantly, treat other drivers the way you want to be treated. If you do witness an aggressive driving incident, don't take matters into your own hands. Call and report the incident as quickly as possible."

Motorists can report aggressive drivers by calling *477.