Traffic

State troopers beef up ranks for Thanksgiving weekend travelers

State troopers begin their Thanksgiving traffic safety patrols with a line-to-line emphasis on Interstate 55 from the Tennessee state line to the Louisiana state line. Troopers also will have increased patrols across Interstate 10 and state highways in South Mississippi.
State troopers begin their Thanksgiving traffic safety patrols with a line-to-line emphasis on Interstate 55 from the Tennessee state line to the Louisiana state line. Troopers also will have increased patrols across Interstate 10 and state highways in South Mississippi.

Thanksgiving travelers can expect increased patrols on Interstate 10 and state highways as the Mississippi Highway Patrol beefs up its ranks over the four-day holiday weekend.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol has announced its Thanksgiving traffic safety campaign starts Wednesday at 6 p.m. and runs through midnight Sunday.

Last year’s Thanksgiving weekend was the deadliest on state highways and interstates in at least five years, statistics show.

In 2015, state troopers investigated 221 crashes that killed four people and injured 73 during the holiday travel period. One of those deaths occurred on U.S. 98 in George County. Victims of those crashes were not wearing seatbelts and three were ejected.

We urge motorists who are preparing to travel on the roadways to include safe driving as part of their plans.

MHP Capt. Johnny Poulos

On Wednesday, state troopers will increase their presence on Interstate 55 due to an increase in traffic fatalities and anticipated traffic, MHP Capt. Johnny Poulos said.

The high-visibility safety campaign on I-55, dubbed “Line to Line,” starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday and runs through 7 p.m. Motorists can expect a heavy presence of state troopers from the Tennessee state line to the Louisiana state line.

MHP’s goal is to ensure motorists arrive safely at their destinations and to stop reckless drivers and distracted drivers, Poulos said.

“We urge motorists who are preparing to travel on the roadways to include safe driving as part of their plans,” he said.

Along with increased patrols this holiday period, state troopers will enforce child restraint and seatbelt laws and take impaired drivers off the highway, Poulos said.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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