Officers remind drivers, protect your family on the road

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – "You can see the traffic that is going by and you keep in mind, that's someone's family," said Mississippi Highway Patrolman Cpl. Johnny Poulos.

According to AAA travel predictions, the highways and roadways will be as stuffed as the Thanksgiving Turkey this holiday travel season.  AAA numbers predict more than 40 million travelers will be getting away to give thanks.

The extra traffic means the Mississippi highway patrol will be out in larger numbers as well to keeping an eye out for reckless drivers and accidents.

"We want to make sure that everyone knows you're going to see check points and we do this to protect the public. We're looking for that intoxicated driver that could come through that check point and we can get him or her off the road," said Poulos.

However, drunk drivers aren't the only dangers on the road.  Officers are also on the lookout for distracted drivers, which Poulos says can be even more dangerous.

"What seems to be the bigger problem is the distracted driver that is driving down the road, looking at the phone, sending a text. We want people to focus on the road ahead of you. That's what you need to do," said Poulos. "Focus on your driving."

According to the Highway Patrol, speeding is also the cause of many fatal accidents.  Their tip for avoiding a traffic ticket or worse is not giving yourself reason to speed by giving yourself plenty of time on the road.

"Law enforcement officers, they like to spend time with their families also and for us to do this we need the motoring public to make responsible decisions. Just reach your destination," said Poulos.

If you are going to be among the travelers hitting the road, the highway patrol just asks that you buckle up, put down the phone, and drive safely so everyone has a happy Thanksgiving.

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