Holiday weekend meant dangerous roads

Posted at 10:23 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 23:24:04-05

Federal, state, and local police all got the word out before Thanksgiving that the holiday weekend was one of the most dangerous on the roads.

Law enforcement continue to push for safety as the holiday party season begins and shoppers are on the roads.

Iowa and Nebraska officials were out in full force this past weekend.

In Iowa the highway patrol arrested 29 drivers for driving while intoxicated, and Omaha Police nabbed about a dozen DUI drivers.

Iowa also had over 115 crashes, three of them fatal.

“We are on pace for over 35,000 people die in car crashes, which is almost 100 people a day,” said Tom Everson, Executive Director for Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25.

His mission is to prevent people from driving distracted, ”if we are going to put ourselves first, we should first try to preserve our own lives so that is where the phone down eyes up comes in.”

Phone down eyes up is a simple term and has a simple meaning: just put the phone away. Everson said driving while using a phone is just like driving while drunk.

“Because the research has shown that someone on a cell phone is like someone who is .09 under the influence in terms of reaction time,” he said.

Officers were quick to post the number of DUI drivers they were arresting this weekend and Everson said the hardest part of his job is talking to the families who've lost a loved one.

“Almost 100 families will be visited by a police officer who will let them know their loved one died in a traffic incident and it will probably be a case of distracted driving, or DUI, or not buckling up.”