Officials from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development are urging holiday drivers to plan ahead before they set out on state roadways and to practice safe driving practices.

Deidra Druilhet encouraged drivers to wear their seat belts; in 2012 more than 200 crashes occurred involving unbelted drivers, she said. But she also urged drivers to take advantage of that state's 511 service, which pinpoints exactly where construction zones and other troubles are.

Druilhet also announced DOTD will begin accepting in January applications for the department's Safe Routes to School program. The federally funded programs allows DOTD to develop safe walking and biking paths for those children who use such paths to get to school.

To listen to the full interview with Druilhet, click on the 'Play' button below.