It's holiday travel crunch time

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - With Christmas drawing closer, it seems like everyone has a place to go. AAA estimates more than 90 million Americans will travel this holiday season on both the roads and in the air. The Mississippi Highway Patrol will be working with extra man power to keep those who get behind the wheel safer.

"Like most of our holidays we are going to have the increased patrols. Saturation details, checkpoints. The driver's license checkpoints," said Corporal MS Highway Patrol Jason Gazzo.

Vehicles on I-10 were steadily moving but over on Highway 49 cars were tapping their breaks. For drivers near the mall in Biloxi, all the vehicles on the roads were causing headaches.

"Well I tell ya. The last couple of days have been so crowded on the streets. My sister in the hospital at Garden Park and I tried to get up there and it was just bumper to bumper," said motorist Roe Stankard.

"It's been awful. It's pretty bad. Especially because I live right over here, so it's terrible trying to get out and goes Christmas shopping," said driver Yssa Mckaig.

"Traffic has definitely picked up especially in this area. Walmart is right there and the mall is right there and this gas station is super cheap," said driver Janel Travis.

With the increased amount of traffic, authorities say there's no room for error. That's why they say it's vital to lower your distractions while driving.

"We're really harping on the distracted driving. Distracted driving is not just a cell phone usage. It's anything that would distract your ability to maintain your vehicle and drive your vehicle in a proper manor," said Gazzo.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol's increased enforcement ends Thursday at midnight.

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