Oklahoma Highway Patrol Chief Ricky Adams has announced that OHP will take part in the fourth annual "Interstate 40 Challenge Drive to Zero Fatalities" traffic safety initiative scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday period.

The Interstate 40 Challenge will consist of increased patrols along the I-40 corridor that stretches through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and North Carolina. The challenge will take place on the busiest travel days of the Thanksgiving period: Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 27.

"We ask Oklahomans to play their part in protecting our roadways,” Adams said. “Drivers should be alert, focused, belted and sober. Let’s focus on what’s most important – keeping our roadways safe during this holiday season.”

Troopers will focus on drivers who are in violation of state laws, including those related to speeding, impaired driving, occupant protection and texting.

“Holidays are meant to be enjoyed, but they can also be a time of sadness and difficulty,” said OHP Capt. Paul Timmons. “We care about you and your families, which is why we will be working hard to make sure that you make it safely to your destination.”  

Troopers will be assigned every 20 miles of I-40 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23 and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27. There will also be an increased presence on other highways throughout Oklahoma during the holiday.

I-40 runs 2,555 miles through eight states, with 331 miles in Oklahoma.

During the 102-hour 2015 Thanksgiving holiday period in Oklahoma, 10 people died and 272 were injured in crashes on Oklahoma roadways. Four of the deaths occurred in alcohol- or drug-related crashes.