Archive for Wednesday, December 13, 2000

Illuminate the danger of drunken drivers

Editorial

December 13, 2000

During this joyous and giving time of year, it's appropriate to be reminded of people out there who could rob us of our health and our lives.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 84 people were killed and another 2,435 were injured in accidents that were drug- or alcohol-related.

That's why the patrol plans to turn its lights on for life this Friday. Regardless of weather conditions that day, troopers will patrol with their headlights on to demonstrate the patrol's commitment to removing impaired drivers from Kansas roads.

The illuminated headlights also will serve as a remembrance of those killed and injured as a result of alcohol-related crashes. This annual observance is part of National Lights on for Life Day, which is sponsored by the National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month Coalition.

"In the last few years, it seems that impaired driving has taken a back seat to other, more high-profile traffic issues, such as aggressive driving," said Col. Donald W. Brownlee, superintendent of the patrol.

All Kansas drivers are encouraged to join troopers in turning their lights on this Friday. The timing of this campaign is appropriate, considering the winter holiday season is one of the most likely times of the year to encounter an impaired driver. During last Christmas and New Year's, the patrol arrested 135 intoxicated drivers. Certainly, there were many, many more people who were not arrested, but who posed a danger to all they passed on the road.

As responsible citizens, we should remember to choose a designated non-drinking driver, use taxi services or abstain from consuming alcohol if we're going to drive. And passengers whether they've been drinking or not should remember to never ride with a driver who's been drinking.

Let's join the patrol in turning on our headlights this Friday and ensuring our holidays are safe.

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