State police advising road safety ahead of holiday weekend

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:40 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana state troopers will be working this holiday season to enforce seat belt laws while also keeping an eye out for aggressive driving behaviors, speeding and distracted driving.

“We always usually leave a little bit of a cushion time - especially for Thanksgiving,” Ryan Baniewicz said. “But we’re just going up to Natchitoches, so we’re hoping it shouldn’t be too bad.”

Ryan Baniewicz and his family are just one of the many hitting the road this weekend.

“I mean, I’m usually on hyper-alert anytime I drive in the holidays,” Baniewicz said. “I mean, I don’t have kids, but I know people do and you got them in the backseat, you might have a dog in the back too, things get rowdy. I mean, I always try to drive defensively, even if I know if I got everything careful in my car.”

Baniewicz said driving is not his only concern. He’s also keeping a close watch on gas prices.

“My wife and I have two places that we get gas from in town and it’s pretty strict. I mean, everybody’s on a budget now,” Baniewicz said. “So, we literally have two places that we buy gas from.”

State Trooper Derek Senegal said they’re ramping up patrol for the holidays.

“We’re actually putting more troopers on the roadway - that’s with all other agencies too,” Senegal said. “And some of the agencies we’re working together with - those other law enforcement agents so we can find those aggressive drivers, those drivers that are speeding, those drivers that are distracted. So, we want to make sure that everyone is safe and have a really great weekend.”

State police said last year eight people died during Thanksgiving weekend on Louisiana roads, and more than 800 were injured.

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