WYDOT, WHP implement safety measures to keep motorists safe

March 17, 2017

PrintThe Wyoming Department of Transportation and Wyoming Highway Patrol are implementing several safety measures to help raise awareness on the importance of safe driving.

Recent fatalities in the state prompted officials to look at ways to reach out to the public to encourage them to buckle up and not drive drunk. WYDOT will display on its dynamic message signs throughout the state five different safety messages.

Some of the messages people will see include, “Check your seat belt! Check your speed!,” “Your family needs you! Slow Down! Buckle Up!,” and “18 deaths on Wyoming roads this year. Buckle Up!”

“It’s vital that we help educate our citizens on the importance of buckling up and not driving under the influence,” said WYDOT Director Bill Panos. “One of our goals is to improve safety on our state highways, and these messages will help us do that.”

WYDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) is responsible for changing out the different messages that motorists will see. The TMC relays weather and road conditions to the traveling public, displays vital messages on dynamic message signs and communicates with WYDOT maintenance workers and Patrol.

“We’re working closely with Patrol to try to bring down our fatalities and to encourage safe driving habits,” said Vince Garcia, WYDOT’s GIS/ITS manager. “It’s so important that people buckle up, not drive drunk and not be distracted when they’re driving.”

Overall fatalities and fatal crashes have been decreasing since 2014. In 2014, there were 150 fatalities from 131 fatal crashes. In 2015, there were 145 fatalities from 129 fatal crashes. And, in 2016, there were 112 fatalities from 100 fatal crashes, information from WYDOT’s Highway Safety Office indicated.

Troopers are always working hard to ensure Wyoming’s roads are safe. From March 17 through the 19, they will be performing special enforcement because of the holiday. They will be using a federal highway safety grant to pay for the increased law enforcement presence.

“Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers will be out for special enforcement throughout St. Patrick's weekend, looking for impaired and distracted driving violations,” said WHP Col. Kebin Haller. “Please Report Every Drunk Driver so we can work together to save lives in Wyoming.”

So far this year, Wyoming has had 18 fatalities from 15 fatal crashes, information from WYDOT’s Highway Safety Office indicated.

“Troopers will be out identifying impaired drivers and other concerns of highway safety such as occupant restraints, distracted driving and speeding,” said WHP Lt. David Wagener. “In 2016, 34 people out of the 112 total fatalities were the result of impaired driving. Fifty-five out of the 112 fatalities were the result of lack of seat belt use when seat belts were available. During this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and March Madness, make a plan to keep yourself safe. Designate a sober driver and buckle up.”