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Iowa Department of Public Safety
Larry L. Noble, Commissioner
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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Colonel Patrick J. Hoye, Chief

For immediate release:  
Thursday, December 23, 2010  
Des Moines, Iowa  

IOWA STATE PATROL OFFERS HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS

Des Moines, IOWA --- The Iowa State Patrol will have extra Troopers on the roads during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.  Troopers will be looking for drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol, speeders, drivers following too close and other types of aggressive driving.  Troopers will also be looking out for seatbelt violations. Colonel Patrick Hoye, Chief of the Iowa State Patrol says, “Everyone needs to buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip.”
  
Every year, motorist must re-adjust their driving habits to compensate for winter driving. Some driving tips for inclemate weather include: 1) only use cruise control on dry surfaces, 2) if you lose traction gradually slow down, do not slam on the brakes, 3) use caution when driving on bridges and ramps, frost and ice form on these surfaces first, 4) be careful when approaching shaded areas, this is the last place for ice and snow to melt. Basic driving tips are the same all year: DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, SLOW DOWN, ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT and minimize DISTRACTIONS.

Many drivers also neglect to prepare their vehicle for the season. Check the tread on your tires. Check the windshield wipers for cracks and wear, and fill your windshield fluid reservoir. Keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent water build up that can freeze the line and to ensure you have enough gas for heat if you are stranded. Check your lights and drive with them on during daylight hours in fog or precipitation.

Additional equipment you should put in your vehicle: tools (jack, lug wrench), bottled water, non-perishable food,  extra warm clothes, boots, hats and gloves, ice scraper, flash light with fresh batteries, first aid kit, jumper cables, blanket/sleeping bag, and a cell phone with car charger (a deactivated phone will activate when “911” is dialed).

Please plan your trips with caution, make sure you leave extra time to travel and have a safe holiday season.  If you see an emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder with the emergency lights on, slow down and move over if possible. For additional information on road conditions across the State of Iowa, call 5-1-1 or go to http://511ia.org/roadconditions.asp.

 

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