Drive with extra caution during holiday weekend

As the unofficial end of summer arrives with the three-day Labor Day holiday weekend, there will be additional Nevada Highway Patrol troopers on duty participating in a variety of safety initiatives throughout Northern Nevada.

Here are traffic safety reminders for motorists:

• Expect heavier than usual traffic this weekend on highways, state routes, and in Sparks for the annual Rib Cook-Off.

• Be certain that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up.

• Limit distractions while driving.

• Pay attention while driving at all times.

• Be extra cautious when backing up, use a spotter especially when backing up a trailer or a large/oversized vehicle.

• Never drink and drive.

• Designate a safe and sober driver if you plan on consuming alcohol.

• Don't be in a hurry, and leave plenty of time for your travels.

• Keep a safe following distance and a greater one when towing a trailer.

• When you see an emergency vehicle with its emergency lights on, slow down and move over one lane when applicable.

The NHP is taking extra precautions for the three-day weekend.

The annual Burning Man event that takes place in the Black Rock desert north of Gerlach has generated 920 overtime hours or 92 10-hour shifts that began on Sept. 1 and will continue through Sept. 8. These overtime hours are being paid by a contract entered with the event officials in the amount of nearly $66,000 with the majority of the 24-hour highway coverage taking place this through Monday when the bulk of the traffic is anticipated.

Troopers will be on duty patrolling Interstate 80 and the 73-mile stretch of State Route 447 between Wadsworth and Gerlach assisting motorists who experience mechanical breakdowns, identifying impaired drivers, responding to accidents and enforcing traffic laws.

They also will have several troopers conducting DUI saturation patrols throughout Northern Nevada.

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