July 4th stats show deadliest day on road - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Law enforcement urge holiday travel safety

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While you may be sitting down to a plate of barbeque this Independence Day, law officers like Hinds County Deputy Eric Sumerall will be hard at work. While you may be sitting down to a plate of barbeque this Independence Day, law officers like Hinds County Deputy Eric Sumerall will be hard at work.
The Fourth of July is reportedly the deadliest day on U.S. roadways. The Fourth of July is reportedly the deadliest day on U.S. roadways.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Fourth of July is reportedly the deadliest day on U.S. roadways -- but Hinds County law enforcement is trying to make sure our roadways remain safe this holiday travel period.

While you may be sitting down to a plate of barbeque this Independence Day, law officers like Hinds County Deputy Eric Sumerall will be hard at work.

"We'll be looking for anything out of the ordinary," said the 10-year veteran officer.

Sumerall will be cruising the city and county streets looking for violators from drunk drivers to criminals trying to enter an empty house.

"A lot of criminals are opportunist, and they try to hide under the cloak of the festivities..They feel like the public is preoccupied with celebrations and things like that," said Deputy Sumerall.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 670 people were killed on the Fourth of July from 2007-2011, which averages 134 deaths on that date each year.

Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis said he wants residents and visitors to obey the laws, speed limits and have a designated driver if you will be drinking.

"We know that there are going to be a lot of people traveling. There are going to be a lot of picnics going on, family reunions, but we want people to be cautious about their drinking, about their use of fireworks and we want everyone to be able to arrive back to their destinations safely," Lewis said.

Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for ages 1-34 with teens crashing four times more than any other group.

Teenagers accounted for 6% of the driving fatalities on Independence Day and it's attributed to distracted driving, like texting behind the wheel.

"That gives us an opportunity tot get with parents to be a little be more proactive, to get ahead of the game knowing those stats," added the sheriff.

The Hinds County Sheriff's Department will be teaming up with Madison County and the Mississippi Highway Patrol during this holiday travel weekend.

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