Good news, bad news, caution for holiday drivers

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Until we all have reliable self-driving cars, we’re going to have to exercise caution when taking to the road for holidays like Tuesday’s Independence Day celebration.

The good news gasoline will be the cheapest it’s been since 2005, with fuel available lower than $2 a gallon, although not in Southwest Nebraska.

Statewide, the average is about $2.11 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.

The bad news, many of us won’t be able to take a long weekend because of the Tuesday holiday, and any travel will have to be confined to one day.

No matter how cheap the gasoline, it’s prohibitively expensive to drive, in both dollars and consequences, if you’ve had too much to drink.

AAA and Budweiser are again teaming up to offer confidential tows and rides home for drivers who have had too much to drink over the holiday.

Although it may not be available everywhere in rural Nebraska, the service, a taxi ride or ride with a sober friend is by far preferable to risking injury or death, or at best a heavy fine and loss of drivers license, by driving drunk.

As a last line of defense, the Nebraska State Patrol will put in extra hours to try to keep roads safe over the holiday.

Beginning Monday and extending through Wednesday, communications specialists will put in overtime hours with the help of a $15,960 grant from the Nebraska Department of Roads Highway Safety Office.

The special enforcement will include vehicle checks and high visibility patrols across the state with an emphasis on decreasing impaired driving.

Motorists are encouraged to wear their seatbelts, obey speed limits, pay extra attention in work zones and never drive while impaired or distracted.

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