MHP plans for fatality free holiday weekend - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MHP plans holiday weekend checkpoints

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Over the past seven years, there has been a steady decline in the number of statewide fatalities. Over the past seven years, there has been a steady decline in the number of statewide fatalities.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Officials want a repeat of last year's Memorial Day Holiday where no fatalities were reported on the state's roadways. The 78 hour Memorial Day Holiday begins at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at midnight Tuesday morning.

"The Memorial Day weekend is the traditional beginning of the summer holiday travel season," Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz said. "We plan to have all available resources out this Memorial Day Weekend to encourage motorists to obey the rules of the road."

A traffic checkpoint is planned for Friday afternoon on Highway 80 at the Pear River Bridge.

Over the past seven years, there has been a steady decline in the number of statewide fatalities, and MHP attributes that to motorists being more informed about the risks of not buckling up.

"Seat belts save lives," MHP Director Colonel Donnell Berry said. "The motoring public is better educated about the importance of wearing safety belts and it is making a difference. Mississippi began its participation in the Click It or Ticket initiative in 2002. At that time the seat belt usage rate was about 50 percent. Since then, the usage rate is up to nearly 82 percent."

In 2005, 931 people died on Mississippi roads and highways. Last year, 582 people were killed in traffic crashes, a reduction of 38%.

Highway patrol officers will heavily monitor drivers throughout the Magnolia State in efforts to create yet another fatality free holiday weekend. During the 2012 Memorial Day Holiday, MHP issued a total of 8,367 tickets, investigated 101 crashes, made 246 DUI arrests and issued 975 seat belt violation and 165 child-restraint violation tickets.

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