Roadways, waterways to get increased patrols for July 4 weekend

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – State police and the Fish and Boat Commission will team up to keep people safe over the July 4 holiday weekend.

There will be more troopers on the highways, beginning Friday.

“It’s going to be 24/7 with the enforcement,” Trooper John Witkowski said. “The holiday weekend, with traveling, it happens both night and day. We’ll be out there along with municipal agencies.”

State police say there were nearly 300 alcohol-related crashes during last year’s July 4 weekend, a slight decrease from 2015.

Witkowski urges people to either stay at home, find a designated driver, or use a taxi service when partying.

The state’s waterways – like the Susquehanna River – will be patrolled more, too.

“On a holiday weekend, we try to get as many officers out to make contact with people. A lot of times, we’ll be at the ramps and we’ll talk to people,” Mark Sweppenheiser with the Fish and Boat Commission said.

Last year, there were 90 boating under the influence arrests; a nearly 50 percent increase from 2015.

“Have fun, just do it responsibly,” Sweppenheiser said. “Don’t take the alcohol. Pack sodas and waters and stay hydrated. Make sure you have life jackets. Make sure you have your licenses. Be courteous to other motorists on the water.”

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