N.H., Maine pull out the stops to keep highways safe

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Close attention will be paid to impaired an distracted drivers, officials say. (Courtesy photo)

Maine and New Hampshire lawmen promise to be out in force for the Memorial Day weekend, cracking down on aggressive, speeding, impaired and distracted drivers from unmarked cars on the road to their "eyes in the sky."

The Chief of the Maine State Police, Colonel Robert Williams, said extra patrols will also be out looking to enforce Maine's seat belt and child safety seat laws.

"Memorial Day weekend sets the tone for the rest of the summer driving season and the State Police goal is to make is a safe one," he said. "Troopers will continue their highway safety efforts to reduce fatalities and injuries from crashes throughout the summer."

The chief said the State Police plane will be augmenting the enforcement efforts on the ground, and Troopers will be concentrating their efforts along the Maine Turnpike, the Interstate, as well as several secondary roads.

State Police, along with 44 other Maine police departments, are sharing $313,403 in federal funds to pay for overtime to enforce the state's seat belt laws. The Click It or Ticket campaign, coordinated by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, runs through June 4 and many of those overtime efforts will take place during the holiday weekend.

So far this year, 46 people have been killed on Maine roads, compared to 48 deaths at this time last year.

Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, a press conference is scheduled for today at the Salem, N.H., northbound rest area on I-93 to announce a collaborative effort with Massachusetts of high visibility patrols on major interstates along the New Hampshire and Massachusetts boarder.

This multi-state highway safety operation will run throughout the weekend, looking for aggressive and impaired drivers. A major focus will be on reducing dangerous speeds and other moving violations.

The New Hampshire State Police will be adding patrols, using laser radar and Aircraft, as well as conventional patrols.

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