MHP out in force for 4th of July holiday

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A holiday enforcement period will begin at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and last through the weekend, during which all available Mississippi Highway Patrol troopers will be ensuring motorists are safe for the Fourth of July, according to a press release from MHP.

During the 2018 Fourth of July holiday enforcement period, troopers made 41 DUI arrests and investigated 61 crashes, according to the release.

“With it being a holiday period, we’re expecting increased traffic on our highways and interstates here in southern Mississippi and statewide,” said Chase Elkins with MHP.

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He said that extra troopers will be patrolling through the week to Saturday in an effort to reduce the number of drivers on the road who are under the influence, Elkins said. The extra manpower is also an attempt to reduce distracted driving and make sure drivers and passengers are buckling up, Elkins said.

MHP will also begin a new traffic safety initiative that emphasizes enforcement of the left hand lane law, Elkins said. MHP wants to make sure drivers understand that the left lane of a four lane highway is only for passing slower vehicles, Elkins said. All slower moving traffic should be in the right hand lane.

The “Drive Right Mississippi” safety initiative will run through the month of July, and remind drivers to slow down, keep their phones down, drive sober, buckle up and keep slower traffic in the right lane, according to the press release. The slogan is designed to emphasize the left hand lane law and encourage drivers to follow other traffic laws concerning distracted and impaired driving, speeding, seatbelt use, and child restraints, said Elkins.

Chief Deputy Shane Tucker with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department cautions motorists to drive safely by avoiding drinking and driving and use caution when discharging fireworks at their homes.