WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As many folks gas up their vehicles and fill coolers of ice to have eventful Memorial Weekend, officials said they need to keep safety in mind.
While many people have been focusing on COVID-19, but road safety should also be top priority.
One thing Texas Department of Transportation officials cannot stress enough is the importance of not drinking and driving.
Joe Greer said his Memorial weekend will include some safe and relaxing family time at the lake.
“We want to continue to practice social distancing and we are not gonna go out to restaurants and go in to eat because we want to keep the precautions and stay safe from COVID-19,” resident Greer said.
However, Greer said COVID-19 road safety is also top priority.
“I think it being Memorial Day weekend we have to drive very defensively and watch for people that may be out there drinking and driving,” Greer said.
TxDOT’s Public Information Officer Adele Lewis agreed.
“If you think someone is drunk, you need to stay away and back off that vehicle,” Lewis said. “That may freak him out, and you may get tangled up with him at that point, so giving yourself more room, keeping your distance, you’re social distancing your car as well.”
Both Lewis and Greer said the hope is that no one will put their hands on the wheel while under the influence of anything.
“In the state last year just for Memorial Day weekend there were 360 DUI crashes in the state of Texas and we had 16 fatalities,” Lewis said.
Lewis and Greer encourage residents to make plans for the weekend that will not only protect you but those around you.
Adele said that now that a lot of restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol to go, it would be in Texomans best interest to pick up their drink and head straight home.