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Police urge safety over Memorial Day weekend, 64 fatalities so far in 2019

File Photo, Oil City

CASPER, Wyo. —Wyoming has seen 64 traffic fatalities so far in 2019 as of Friday, May 24.

That is almost double the amount of fatalities at the same date in 2018, which stood at 36.

The Casper Police Department shared these numbers on Friday, and urged people to use caution over Memorial Day weekend.

“The Casper Police Department is urging the community to keep safety as a priority over Memorial Day weekend,” the department said. “Nearly 38 million Americans plan on traveling by car this Memorial Day weekend, an increase of 3.6 percent.”

Due to the significant increase in fatalities this year compared to 2018, the police department thinks safety needs to receive added attention.

“We can and need to do better,” said the police department.

There were nine crashes, four involving injuries over Memorial Day weekend last year, the department added.

“Wyoming is seeing a significant number of vehicle fatalities resulting from drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts,” the police department explained. “These deaths are one-hundred percent preventable. Click it, or ticket.”

In addition to wearing seatbelts, drivers are cautioned to make preparations to avoid the mistake of driving impaired.

“‘Think ahead and make a plan before drinking alcohol. Ask yourself, ‘How am I getting to where I’m going and how am I getting home?’ before you leave the house,’ said Rebekah Ladd, Public Information Officer for the Casper Police Department. ‘If you’re staying home, think ahead to
avoid having to leave once you start drinking.'”

The police department’s statements also included a message from Wyoming Highway Patrol Colonel Kebin Haller.

“’Don’t drive impaired, don’t drive distracted, put down your electronic devices, buckle up and slow down,'” Haller said. “‘All fatalities are preventable. All fatalities are the direct result of poor driving decisions.’”

The police department added that they “will be taking active measures to enforce and encourage safe driving over the holiday weekend.”

“We are dedicated to the well-being of each of our community members,” the police department stated. “Please partner with us by encouraging your friends and family to have a safe Memorial Day weekend.”