The Thanksgiving holiday weekend comes with more than just a stuffed stomach and flocking around the television for the Raiders vs. Cowboys game – it comes with heightened risks of kitchen fires and distracted driving.
Local government agencies and law enforcement have teamed up to offer safety tips, ensuring an accident-free Thanksgiving from the highway to the kitchen. Most notably, the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) and the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) urged motorists to take extreme caution on the roads at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Both NHP and NDOT officials acknowledged the heavy traffic on the roadways during the upcoming four-day weekend and said road conditions could turn dangerous quickly. Motorists can keep informed on restricted or closed roads by dialing 511 or checking www.nevadadot.com before driving. Both entities also stressed the dangers of distracted driving.
“It is prohibited to talk on a cell phone unless a driver is using hands-free technology; this includes reading non-voice communication,” NHP Trooper Chuck Allen said. “We are seeing more motorists violating this law by reading emails and texting messages while stopped or stalled in traffic or at a traffic signal.”
Allen added that a citation for running a red light in the Reno-Sparks area can cost more than $200 and will knock four demerit points off a driver’s license.
“We see more red light violations this time of year as motorists hurriedly rush to their next destination,” Allen said. “We also want drivers to be certain the entire intersection is clear before traveling through on a green light. It is also against the law to block an intersection and this practice is seen more frequently during the busy holiday shopping period.”
The roadways are only one of the dangers posed during the rush of holiday shopping and family dinners. Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Amy Ray said Tuesday that Thanksgiving dinner preparation causes a spike in the number of cooking fires in northern Nevada.