JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Highway Patrol will have extra state troopers on duty for the July 4th traffic enforcement period, which is from 6 p.m. Friday through midnight Sunday.
The holiday has been named by Forbes magazine, the most dangerous one of the year. “This is one of the biggest holidays of the year where people are out going to parties and having backyard barbeques and usually there is a lot of alcohol involved,” explained Jason Scott, public information officer for the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Those party goers sometimes make the decision to drink and drive. “About half of all traffic crashes around the Fourth of July weekend are alcohol related.”
Scott said drivers who plan to celebrate with alcohol should use a designated driver. But for those who don’t, Lt. Johnny Polous with the Mississippi Highway Patrol said troopers will use safety checkpoints to catch them. “Our main concern is in what manner the vehicle is being operated; therefore careless and reckless driving laws will be enforced by MHP,” Polous said.
The increased manpower this holiday will include 48 troopers who have completed their field training program. “Due to the fact MHP recorded seven fatalities during the deadly 2014 Fourth of July period, this addition of troopers could not come at a better time,” said Polous. “We are asking motorists to join with us in making the roadways safer in Mississippi; and to help allow families to have a joyous holiday weekend.