Many people will celebrate this holiday weekend by hitting the road and traveling to and through Kansas. The Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Turnpike Authority and Kansas Department of Transportation partnered to remind motorists to travel safely during Independence Day and throughout the rest of the summer.

“Seat belts save 15,000 lives each year on our nation’s highway and about 2,500 more lives could be saved if everyone wore their seat belts,” said Julie Lorenz, Kansas Secretary of Transportation. “Seat belts are one of our most effective life-saving devices. Please make sure you and your loved ones are always buckled up.”

From July 3 to July 5, the Patrol will be working in support of the Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) enforcement with personnel from other states. The goal is increased safety and ease of travel on our nation’s roadways.

In 2019, there were 542 crashes during the Independence Day holiday period resulting in 169 injuries and two fatalities.

“In addition to buckling up and not driving impaired of alcohol or drugs, we ask that you ditch the distractions in your vehicle and keep your eyes on the road,” said Captain Andy Dean, KHP Public & Governmental Affairs Commander.

Before travelers pack their cars, check the route for delays or construction using KanDrive at www.kandrive.org. KanDrive includes camera images, interactive maps and links to rest areas, travel and tourism sites.

“We encourage drivers to plan ahead, use a K-TAG or other compatible transponder to pay for tolls electronically and call KTA (582) if they need emergency help on the Turnpike,” said Steve Hewitt, Kansas Turnpike Authority CEO. “Our State Farm Safety Assist program is available on our busiest stretch of roadway for travelers needing roadside assistance.”

The agencies wish safe travels to all during the upcoming holiday. If in need of assistance on a Kansas highway, please call Kansas Highway Patrol for assistance at 47 (HP).

As you enjoy your summer travels and celebrate Independence Day, the agencies offer some tips:

It’s hot out there so make sure your vehicle is in proper working order for the heat of summer — Check fluids, tires, air conditioning and cooling system.

When you leave, start off with a full tank of gas and a fully charged phone.

Plan your route of travel and check www.kandrive.org with your route. Give a family member your travel plans.

As you travel, Move Over for first responders and highway maintenance crews. If you are unable to Move Over then Slow Down.

In case of a break down, keep emergency supplies in your car, including bottles of water, a phone charger and non-perishable food items.

Ensure everyone in your vehicle is using their seat belt and/or an appropriately fitted child safety seat.

Arrange for a designated driver ahead of time if you plan to consume alcohol. Do not drink and drive.

If you’re hosting a party, have non-alcoholic drink alternatives available for designated drivers.

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