MHP weighs in on 2013 Thanksgiving traffic

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - As many people headed home after sharing the holiday weekend with loved ones the roads were busier than usual on Sunday.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Corporal Jason Gazzo says Sunday was especially busy on Mississippi's highways and interstates.

Beginning Wednesday until Sunday the Mississippi Highway Patrol increased enforcement on our roadways with saturation patrols and roadblocks. It was all to keep motorists safe. Across the state, troopers issued around 5,400 citations over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to Gazzo. He said a little over 100 of those were DUIs.

"I'd say this year was probably some of the most heavily traveled Thanksgivings," Gazzo said.

And travelers agree. Many say they did what they could to avoid sitting idle on the road.

"We take pretty much the back roads to get away from out of traffic. But I mean even then we're not the only ones trying to do it. You know what I mean," said one passenger.

Another passenger said, "It was a little crazy yesterday coming out."

Down from last year. The Mississippi Highway Patrol only worked one fatality statewide during this Thanksgiving holiday. Even though it's an improvement Gazzo says he hopes to not have any road fatalities. Some ways to avoid that include eliminating distractions on the road and preparation.

"We see so many families stranded on the highway without the proper tools to change a flat.

Notify family where you're going. Leave on time where you can take those breaks," Gazzo recommended.

As for the traffic, it's expected to go back to normal Monday.

"We'll go back to our regular enforcement schedule. We'll have troopers out on the highway as we do on any scheduled day, but we do believe there will be a decrease in traffic," Gazzo said.

To ensure a safe drive, Gazzo suggests leaving a little earlier, slowing down, and taking breaks during  long drives.

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