The City of Newberry Police Department is asking drivers to be safe on the roads this summer.
Police Chief Roy McClurkin said the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is commonly known as the 100 deadly days of summer because of the high volume of traffic on the road during the summer travel season.
“People are traveling to vacation spots and drivers are distracted with other things on their minds and may be speeding, trying to reach their destinations as quickly as possible,” McClurkin said.
With school out for the summer, more teenage drivers are also on the road, McClurkin said. No matter the age of the driver, McClurkin urges everyone to remember not to use their cellphones or to text while driving. Even hands-free devices can become a cognitive distraction while driving.
During the summer months, the Newberry Police Department will be increasing their enforcement efforts, looking for impaired drivers, speeding violations, distracted driving, texting while driving and seatbelt violations.
McClurkin said this time of year, they try to have several safety checkpoints per month.
“We look at our statistics on traffic accidents and speeding violations and concentrate on the problem areas,” McClurkin said.
When approaching a safety checkpoint, McClurkin said they encourage motorists to have their driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance readily available and to never get out of the car unless asked to do so by the officer.
“Always keep your hands where the officer can see them and if the checkpoint occurs at night, turn on your inside dome light for the officer,” McClurkin said.
When traveling, McClurkin asks motorists to please allow ample time to reach their destination. Speeding is a factor in more than one-third of traffic fatalities involving young drivers, McClurkin said. Motorists should also maintain a minimum following distance of at least three seconds from the vehicle in front of them.
Other important safety advice McClurkin said was to make sure that everyone in the vehicle is wearing their seatbelts before departure.
“On long trips, be sure to get adequate sleep and share driving responsibilities with others,” McClurkin said. “Do not drive under the influence of any substance that may impair your ability to drive a motor vehicle.”
McClurkin said the department would like everyone to have a safe summer as they travel.