Troopers to increase holiday presence, enforcement

Posted: Friday, May 24, 2002

Warm weather, sunny skies and a three-day weekend -- it's a perfect recipe for relaxation and recreation. But with more people out and about, Memorial Day weekend also offers a formula for accidents and disasters.

Traffic violations, fire hazards and boating accidents are just a few of the concerns area law enforcement agencies noted for the weekend.

Alaska State Troopers will be out in force today through Monday watching especially for seat belt use.

"There will be no warnings on seat belts," said trooper Charles Tressler. "There will be lots of troopers out looking for seat belt tickets."

Tressler also noted that drivers should avoid speeding, as there may be additional traffic and troopers on the roads.

"With our fire situation, people also need to be very careful with fires -- starting them, using them, smoking or tossing matches," he added.

While troopers are watching the roadways, the U.S. Coast Guard will keep a special eye on waterways.

The Coast Guard, National Safe Boating Council and National Association of State Boating Law Administrators have deemed this week National Safe Boating Week, hoping to raise boaters' awareness of water safety.

The No. 1 safety tip -- wear life jackets. Almost all boating fatalities are hypothermia-related drownings.

The Alaska Office of Boating Safety also recommends that boaters plan for unexpected weather, do thorough predeparture equipment check, file a float plan with family members or friends and refrain from mixing alcohol and boating.

For those planning a weekend in Alaska's outdoors, the Alaska Department of Parks and Recreation encourages campers and hikers to plan for delays by packing extra food and clothing, know their limits and file a trip plan with friends.

Parks officials remind campers and hikers to beware of wildlife, make plenty of noise and travel in groups. Food should be kept in sealed containers.

With spring come moose calves and protective maternal instincts. If charged by a moose, run away. But remember not to run from bears.

Also, be careful of those human animals. Vandals and thieves have been known to break into cars parked at trail heads and campgrounds. Never leave anything of value in sight in your car, and report suspicious activity.

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