Keeping the roads safe this Thanksgiving weekend

Keeping the roads safe this Thanksgiving weekend

SPOKANE, Wash. - Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel time of the year, and it just got busier with the big Apple Cup game on Friday.

So, Washington State Patrol is gearing up with extra troopers on the roadways.

In our region, WSP will have ten additional troopers on patrol, with an emphasis on highways leading to Pullman, as thousands of people head to the Apple Cup.

They'll be looking out for impaired, aggressive and speeding motorists, and people affected by winter weather.

"Whether it's just going across town and you've had a few drinks," said Sgt. Matt Fehler, "make sure you're prepared and plan a ride. And if you're coming across the pass, we're expecting some weather, so make sure you're prepared to get across the pass."

Sgt. Fehler says take your time, be prepared, and plan for the unexpected while traveling this week.

As the holidays approach and it becomes the season of parties and spending time with family and friends, a local group is raising awareness about the consequences of impaired driving.

On Tuesday, the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council held a vigil for people to come together to remember those that they have lost in impaired driving crashes, drug or alcohol tragedies, and to addiction.

At the vigil, people shared stories about the loved ones they had lost.

Like Darren Mattozzi, whose brother died in a single car impaired crash just a mile from their home 17 years ago. He now educates people about substance abuse.

"Be safe this holiday season," Mattozzi said. "Do not drive impaired. Plan ahead. Do not let people leave your houses during this holiday season impaired because it's 100 percent preventable."

GSSAC says during the holiday season is a good time to raise awareness about the consequences of driving impaired.

"More people are thinking about going to parties, companies are having celebrations, there's more advertising about alcohol, and having to have alcohol or festivities that include alcohol," explained Executive Director Linda Thompson. "It's a great time to think about designating drivers, keeping people safe, and maybe even celebrating without alcohol, so it's a family friendly, healthy event."

In addition to finding a designated driver, other safe options include cabs or ride shares like Lyft or Uber.