With the unofficial start of the Memorial Day weekend starting Friday, the Iowa State Patrol is reminding drivers throughout southeast Iowa, and across the state, to be extra cautious on the roadways this holiday weekend.
Already this year, the patrol has reported an increase in fatalities, including five, just within the last couple of days.
As Sergeant Timothy Ramthun of the patrol told KTVO Thursday, they just want everyone to have a fun and safe weekend.
??You know, if you do have something to drink, we would rather have you, have someone who is a designated driver, then try to drink at all, even if it is just one drink. You know, we emphasize not drinking at all. We really want to emphasize when you are behind the wheel, to concentrate on driving. You know, distracted driving with your phones, other people in your car, just tend to add to the speed, and collisions occur. We want to keep that down,?? said Ramthun.
Ramthun says that the patrol will have extra troopers out on the roadways this holiday weekend.
??We will have extra troopers out, and statewide. We will have them out at different times of the day to assist motorists that breakdown. We also just want to show that we are out, and we will be looking for impaired drivers, including alcohol-impaired drivers, seatbelt violations and speeding, just like always. We are trying to keep fatalities less than what we have started into,?? said Ramthun.
Sergeant Ramthun reminds motorists that if they see a patrol car or any emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the roadway, to move over, if it is a four-lane highway, or slow down, if it is a two-lane highway. Failing to do so could result in a fine.