INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana State Police spent Labor Day weekend monitoring traffic and reminding drivers to watch their speed and the road.
“Everybody’s trying to get to their destination for Labor Day,” said ISP Trooper Kelly Lazell. “And we stop people and just tell them, when they’re running fast, ‘hey it’s going to be there. It’s not going to leave, just get there safely.’”
Lazell, a 30-year department veteran, says Labor Day 2019 has been about what he expects every year; heavier-than-normal traffic, and some drivers in too much of a hurry.
“I got somebody at 104 yesterday,” Lazell said. “Got a girl trying to go to Chicago yesterday, got her at 95.”
Lazell and other officers are constantly on the lookout for signs of drunk or impaired driving over the Labor Day holiday.
“You don’t know what you’re going to get when you pull somebody over in the afternoon and they’ve been on the lake all day,” Lazell said.
While on patrol, Lazell not only watches vehicles moving through traffic, but also tries to observe drivers behind the wheel. He looks for signs of distracted driving.
“I’ll watch people driving by and some people aren’t even looking up,” Lazell said. “They’re looking on their phones or whatever.”
During his Monday patrol, between 5 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Lazell stopped numerous drivers for various reasons. Most of the stops involved drivers breaking the speed limit or moving too aggressively from lane-to-lane. It’s not uncommon, however, for Lazell to make an early morning stop and find the driver hungover or still impaired from the night before.
In general, however, most drivers he stops tend to be in a hurry to get where they’re going. Whether he writes a ticket or issues a warning, Lazell says he always asks each driver to mind their speed so they reach their destination safely.
“It’s going to be there,” he told one driver. “It’s not going to disappear by the time you get there.”