Extra law enforcement officers will be in the Tri-Cities for Water Follies weekend, but if motorists follow the rules -- don't drink and drive, don't speed and don't forget to buckle up -- there shouldn't be any issues.
Inside the park, spectators also need to remember that alcohol is only allowed in designated areas and make sure their rides get to the park well before the last race or plan to take the bus, authorities said.
Traffic safety emphasis patrols start tonight and run through Sunday, with the Washington State Patrol focusing on dangerous speeding, DUI, aggressive driving and seat belt enforcement.
The goal for the extra patrols is to reduce serious injury and fatality collisions, said Lt. Roger Wilbur.
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"We want this Water Follies weekend to be a safe and enjoyable event for everyone in the Tri-Cities," he said.
There will be extra traffic on the roads around town, Wilbur said, so drivers should anticipate delays and increase their following distance.
Troopers from the state patrol's Walla Walla, Grandview and Yakima detachments, including the DUI squad from Yakima, will be working in the Tri-Cities to help the Kennewick troopers. Unmarked cars, motorcycles and an airplane also will be used to conduct speed patrols on Interstate 82 and highways 240 and 395.
The Mobile Impaired Driving Unit will also be in town to help all law enforcement agencies process DUIs.
When an officer makes a DUI arrest, the officer just has to drop off the impaired driver and the troopers in the mobile unit process all the DUI paperwork.
"It frees up officers a lot faster to get them back on the road quicker," Wilbur said.
At Columbia Park, Kennewick police will have help from Walla Walla and West Richland police, and the Benton County and Walla Walla sheriff's offices. Officers will be on various vehicles and on the water. Pasco police will be patrolling the other side of the river.
"It really becomes a joint effort," Sgt. Ken Lattin said.
Lattin said there will be strict enforcement of the no-alcohol rule.
Park-goers also need to remember that on Saturday and Sunday, the last transit bus leaves the park 15 minutes after the last race.
Troopers and the Washington Department of Transportation also will be closing the main entrance to Columbia Park on Highway 240 and the Edison Street entrance from 4 to 6 p.m.
The roads into the park become exit-only to help ensure a safe and expeditious exit of vehicles during peak traffic times, authorities said.
That means drivers planning to pick up kids or intoxicated friends at the end of the day need to get to the park before the entrances close.
Vehicles also will not be allowed to stop on the shoulders of Highway 240 to pick up or drop off spectators, or to view the hydro races or air shows.