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      Before you drive this weekend, read this

      If you have travel plans this weekend, you are certainly not alone.

      If you have travel plans this weekend, you are certainly not alone.

      It's the unofficial kickoff to summer, and droves of people take to the highways on Memorial Day weekend to take advantage.

      Scores of police also take to the roads to make sure you stay safe on your travels.

      "We know one fatality is one too many," Trooper Mike Kindhart said.

      "It's very important that you understand that there are different laws in different states," Sgt. Brent Bernhardt said. "What would be the best thing to do is to get on the other state's website and search specific laws."

      "January first 2012, we did see the backseat seat belt law come into effect. That means every seating position in any vehicle, you must be in a seat belt," Kindhart said.

      "A defensive driver is a good driver. Not only do we have to be good drivers ourselves, but we have to watch out for those who maybe aren't good drivers," Bernhardt chimed in.

      "When you think of it as the front seat passenger and the backseat passenger doesn't have a seat belt on, any type of collision, that backseat passenger not being restrained is the object that is there to kill you," Kindhart added.

      "Distracted driving can be a lot of things," Bernhardt said. "Obviously, a lot of people equate that with texting or talking on the cell phone, but it can be anything that takes your attention away from driving."

      "Passengers in the vehicle can be as big of a distraction as they can be help to the driver. If they're causing commotion in the car, the loud music in the back, the loud games, the fighting, the arguing, slapping back and forth, those all can be distractions to the driver," Kindhart said.

      "Those simple tasks are not against the law, but if it causes you to drive carelessly, that is against the law," Bernhardt said.

      One last point made by Kindhart ... "taking a drink from a cup of coffee, eating a sandwich, reaching down on the floor, changing a radio station or CD, anything that takes your eyes off the roadway is something that is detrimental and you are not focusing on the task at hand."