Safety a top priority at Sand Drags

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Law enforcement is out in full force at this year's Canadian River Sand Drags, but there's a change to this year's event that police hope will keep people safer.

This year's four wheeling fun seems to be drawing less crowds, and that's probably in large part to the Sand Drags not being sponsored by any organizations.

Law enforcement is hoping less people means less problems.

It's a big party at the Canadian River with lots of people, lots of off-road vehicles, and lots of alcohol.

It may sound like a good time to some, but it's not always the best mix.

That's why law enforcement is keeping a close watch. We tagged along with the game wardens as they checked to make sure everyone was staying safe behind the wheel.

Game Warden Shane West says, "There are a lot of families out here with children, so we try to remind families to keep children under the age of 14 with an adult while they're riding."

You must also be wearing a helmet and protective eye wear, unless your vehicle has a roll cage or seat belts.

West explains, "As far as the tags go, they are required to have an OHV permit, which is an off-highway vehicle permit and that's to operate anywhere off roads, or the riverbed of this area."

Law enforcement is also keeping an eye on those having a different kind of fun and too much of it.

They'll be handing out DWI's, MIP's, and public intox citations to anyone that has taken the drinking too far or who is not supposed to be drinking at all.

Captain David Johnson with the Potter County Sheriff's Department explains, "We have had in the past underage drinking, so that will be something we will watch and I.D. people if we feel like they are underage."

While most people will spend the weekend camping, it's campfires that have authorities concerned, especially with tomorrow's forecasted winds.

Johnson says, "The fire chief Richard Lake can say we are not going to have any campfires whatsoever, so that's just going to depend on what happens tomorrow. Right now as it is, they can have a fire but it's needs to be inside of a metal container with a screened type lid on top."

You're also asked to clean up all your trash and take all of your belongings when you leave.  You can be fined for littering.