Police: Play it safe on Labor Day weekend

EVERETT — Local police are reminding folks to stay safe this Labor Day weekend.

The holiday associated with fun and sun also has seen terrible crashes, drownings and hiking deaths here over the years.

It’s the last big hurrah of summer, and Washington State Patrol troopers want everyone to enjoy themselves, but also be responsible, Sgt. Kirk Rudeen said.

Extra troopers will be working the roads, looking for drivers impaired by alcohol and drugs.

“Just plan ahead,” Rudeen said. “Make some arrangements for other transportation, or stay there, or have a hotel room. Whatever it takes to where you don’t have to get in the car and drive. August is typically our deadliest month in the state for fatal collisions.”

In addition to potential deaths and injuries, a DUI arrest comes with the cost of a tow and an impound, attorney fees and possible jail time, Rudeen said.

Driving’s not the only danger.

Folks leaving home for the weekend need to make sure their houses are secure, said Eddie Golden, an Everett police crime prevention officer.

Too often, spouses think the other has set the alarm, he said. That also means closing the blinds and leaving a car in the driveway so it looks like someone is home.

“Reasonable precautions, not paranoia,” Golden said.

Also let a trusted neighbor know where you’re headed.

“Keep that communication open as neighbors in support of each other, in case there’s anything suspicious,” Golden said.

Expect backups on the roads, Everett police officer Aaron Snell said.

“Give a little extra space, a little extra time, a little more courtesy,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of people traveling.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

Reminders

Eliminate distractions in your car. Buckle up. Use proper child safety seats. Never leave children alone in the car. Have an emergency kit with food, water and a flashlight.

Wear helmets when skateboarding or bicycling.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated.

Avoid swimming in rivers. Don’t mix boating and booze. Wear lifejackets.

Tell someone where you’re hiking and when you’re due back.

Use ladders safely for home improvement. Sources: Safe Kids Snohomish County, American Red Cross.

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