MHP to conduct Fourth of July safety checkpoints

Published 10:24 am Friday, July 1, 2016

Beginning Friday, July 1 at 6 p.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol will begin its 2016 Fourth of July Holiday Enforcement Period.
According to a release from MHP, state law enforcement officials are anticipating heavy traffic flow during the holiday weekend.
“All available troopers will be assigned saturation patrols in an effort to maximize visibility and reduce traffic crashes,” the release states.
During this period, which will end Monday, July 4 at midnight, Mississippi troopers will establish safety checkpoints in an effort to curb impaired driving and advocate seatbelt usage, the release states.
The Picayune and Poplarville Police Department, as well as the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department will continue their regularly scheduled patrol hours throughout the holiday weekend.
“This is expected to be a busy holiday weekend and drivers need to be aware and extra cautious,” Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said.
Picayune Police Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said the department will be utilizing extra manpower to ensure the safety of the citizens.
Poplarville Police Chief Butch Raby, Tucker and Magri urge residents to have fun but to not drink and drive.
“We want people to have a good time but if you decide to drink, bring a designated driver,” Magri said. “Be more conscientious while driving this weekend. Pay close attention and don’t talk on the phone or text while driving. Accidents are prone to happen with more vehicles on the roadway.”
Effective July 1, the fine for texting while driving while in Mississippi will increase from $25 to $100, the release states. This law will be “strictly” enforced to deter distracted driving, the release states.
According to the MHP release, during the 2015 holiday period, state law enforcement officials investigated 138 vehicle accidents resulting in two fatalities. Troopers also arrested 125 people for driving under the influence on state and federal highways, the release states.
“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,” the release states.

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