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Company on the roads: Granite State police departments look to enforce safety rules over the holiday

Union Leader Correspondent

July 04. 2013 1:34AM

Area police are advising drivers and pedestrians to be extra careful on the roads during the Fourth of July.

Some police departments are stepping up patrols beginning today, but all departments will be making sure drivers adhere to traffic laws to save lives.

The Bedford Police Department will be out on the roads, thanks to a grant providing for extra patrol shifts.

"We're high visibility," said Bedford Police Capt. Dan Douidi. "We're out there and keeping an eye out for aggressive drivers and DWIs."

Bedford Police ask drivers to heed speed limits throughout town to avoid accidents. Excessive speed is a significant factor to many accidents, as well as distracted drivers and failure to obey traffic signals.

"Unfortunately, people are driving too close and, although it's against the law, some are still texting while driving" said Bedford Lt. Michael Bernard.

Goffstown Police will also have extra patrols, said Lt. Pierre Pouliot. His department will be ever vigilant, he said, and advises people to do the same.

"Drive responsibly and be careful of extra traffic and pedestrian concerns, especially at night and during fireworks," Pouliot said.

Dunbarton police will also be out in full force.

"We have money allocated for additional patrols on July 3 and 4th," said Police Chief Daniel Sklut. "The town allocated additional money, enough for five holidays."

For drivers who have been on the road most of their lives or for young drivers, the basic rules are the same: Keep 100 percent of your attention on the road. Use defensive driving and be aware of what others are doing – and expect the unexpected. Have money for tolls within reach. Always wear your seat belt. Don't speed, and don't drive inebriated.

"The first line of defense is your own senses," said Sklut.

New Boston will be celebrating its Fourth of July, beginning at 10 a.m. with a parade and ending with fireworks display at 9:15 p.m. Officers will be on hand for the activities, said Police Chief James Brace.

"We'll be out there all day. We'll have extra detail officers at the parade, and at the fairgrounds for the chicken barbecue and the Fourth of July fireworks," said Brace.

Like other police, Brace asks people to be aware of their surroundings.

"Be attentive to the roads and other drivers, especially be cognizant of people at the fireworks and walking out and about during the parade," Brace said. "Take plenty of time to get to and from your destination."

Douidi said people should also take extra steps to keep their home and valuables safe, especially while on vacation.

"Lock doors. Neighbors helping neighbors by keeping an eye out on a vacant home. And, if you have an alarm use it, and be sure to activate it," Douidi said.

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