The Iowa State Patrol is ramping up its enforcement for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Patrol Chief Colonel Robert Garrison says its the start of an effort to raise people’s awareness about driving safely all summer. He says this is the traditional start to summer and the state is on track to achieve the lowest number of traffic fatalities since 1945, and he says they want to get out and let the public know so they can help get it done. Garrison says there are several things you as a driver can do to prepare yourself for the summer driving season. He says have your car tuned up and ready to go, avoid excessive speed, wear your seatbelt, and don’t drink and drive.Garrison also says to be patient due to traffic and road construction.Garrison says troopers aren’t the only ones who’ll be looking for traffic violations. The troopers will be working with other state police agencies and local law enforcement to show a unity among law enforcement and to save lives. Garrison has been a trooper for 29 years, many of those on the road. He was asked about his most memorable holiday and says it was over in eastern Iowa. There was a mom and dad in the car and both were drunk with the kids in the back seat. He says “mom wanted to wrestle when we got her out of the car, and she kept yelling at little Johnny, ‘Johnny, he’s taking your tuba money.'” Garrison says more troopers than normal will be on the roads this weekend having 68 extra troopers out using federal funding.In the previous nine years, an intoxicated driver has contributed to at least one fatal traffic crash during the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend. During this same holiday weekend in 2003 State Troopers issued over 500 citations for speeding violations, arrested eight drivers for driving while intoxicated and provided assistance to over 315 motorists who had vehicle problems.
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