Sweetwater County Sheriff Department talks New Year’s safety

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GREEN RIVER – As we get ready to put another year behind us and embark on the adventure of a new one, it is always important to remember that stupid choices could end the ride before it even gets going.

The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind residents that obeying a few key laws and following a few simple words of advice could keep you safe this New Year’s holiday.

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For the most part, every year the same old advice is given. SWCSO Public Information Officer Dick Blust said the old wisdom of staying safe on New Year’s Eve actually works.

Blust said if you plan on drinking, use a designated driver. If you cannot find a designated driver, call one of the many taxi cabs which will be running throughout the night.

“I guarantee a cab ride will be much cheaper than getting a ticket for drinking and driving,” Blust said.

Maybe you’re not drinking, but will be driving the same roads as those who might be. Blust said to watch the drivers who are on the road with you and exercise defensive driving skills.

Create a lot of space between other vehicles. Watch for people and always obey traffic laws such as using turning signals, stopping at stop signs and lights and wearing seat belts. Blust said just continue to watch other vehicles, watch your mirrors and be aware of your surroundings.

Another important factor is the weather and the possibility it could be cold, icy and snowy. Blust suggested using winter driving skills which include giving yourself a little extra time to get places. Also, extend following distances and decrease speed. Blust said there is always one sure fire way to stay safe:

“If you don’t have to go out, don’t. Stay home,” he said. “It’s cheaper and it’s safer.”

Some resident’s plans may include taking advantage of Sweetwater County’s backcountry. Blust again said weather could be a significant factor. This would include very cold winds and rough roads. He explained if the backcountry is the plan, always take a fully charged cell phone. Blust stressed residents should remember cell phone reception in the county is very spotty.

Back wood adventurers should also have a full load of fuel, extra water and food, extra clothes and blankets.

The most important thing according to Blust is to let someone know where you are going and when they should expect you home.