The Edmond Sun

Local News

November 21, 2012

Officials offer Thanksgiving travel tips

EDMOND — In 2011, the Thanksgiving holiday period began at 6 p.m. Nov. 23 and ended Nov. 27. During this time six people died in four fatal crashes on Oklahoma roadways, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. One of the six fatalities occurred in an alcohol–related crash. Five of those fatalities occurred in the Troop C area which consists of seven counties in the Muskogee region.

As a result of last year’s fatalities and crashes, Capt. Damon Tucker, commander of OHP Troop C, says there will be extra manpower in the Troop C area and more specifically the I-40 corridor.

“If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement or dial *55 from any cell phone to alert the Oklahoma Highway Patrol,” Tucker said. “Our goal is to keep Oklahomans safe on the roads this holiday season.”

There comes a time when discretion is the better part of valor. When that time comes for those consuming alcoholic beverages over the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA Oklahoma hopes they’ll call the auto club for a free ride home for themselves and their vehicle.

“If you’ve been drinking, why take a chance and drive? We are offering a safe, free alternative,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “We know alcohol is going to be consumed at holiday parties, whether at a friend or relative’s house or while out on the town. When the party’s over, we just want to make sure the roads are as safe as possible for everybody.”

If you feel unsafe behind the wheel after drinking, AAA will give you and up to one more person — plus your vehicle — a free ride home within a 15-mile radius of point of pick up in metropolitan Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Lawton, Bartlesville, Enid, Muskogee, Shawnee and Tahlequah. Tipsy Tow services are being offered from 6 p.m. Wednesday until 2 a.m. Monday.

“The number to call is 1-800-222-4357 — which translates to 1-800-AAA-HELP,” Mai said. “Write this number down and keep it in your car’s glove box. When you call, tell the AAA operator, ‘I need a Tipsy Tow,’ and a truck will be on its way.”

You do not need to be a member of AAA to call for a Tipsy Tow.

A not-for-profit organization, AAA Oklahoma serves its 364,600 members across Oklahoma with emergency help on the road, auto travel assistance and a wide range of personal insurance, travel, financial assistance.

Meanwhile, many people will travel to visit loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday and the American Red Cross has travel tips holiday travelers can follow to arrive safely at their destination.

“Whether folks travel by plane, train or they take to the highway, there are things they can do to have a safer trip,” said Ken Garcia, Central and Western Oklahoma regional spokesman. “Thanksgiving is one of the heaviest travel times of the year and we want people to be safe and enjoy their trip.”

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