Deadly holiday enforcement period reminds drivers to be safe - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Deadly holiday enforcement period reminds drivers to be safe

Mississippi Highway Patrol ended their Thanksgiving enforcement period on Sunday night. (Image Source: WLOX News) Mississippi Highway Patrol ended their Thanksgiving enforcement period on Sunday night. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Corporal Seibert says rubber necking can lead to more accidents. (Image Source: WLOX News) Corporal Seibert says rubber necking can lead to more accidents. (Image Source: WLOX News)
MHP troopers just encourage drivers to pay attention while traveling. (Image Source: WLOX News) MHP troopers just encourage drivers to pay attention while traveling. (Image Source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The 2015 Thanksgiving Enforcement Period, when officials track specific incidents, was a difficult one for troopers across the state of Mississippi. 

Officials responded to hundreds of accidents, four of them fatal.

“That's why we harp on seat belts. These are four people that probably would have lived if they would have been wearing their seat belts,” said Corporal Benjamin Seibert.

In Hancock County, two separate tractor trailer accidents had traffic backed up for miles. While it took hours to clean up those accidents, still drivers caused even further delays due to rubber necking.

“Of course, naturally it's dangerous to have your phone out the window, and you're slowing down all the other traffic, but I promise you you're going to get better video and you're going to see the accident a lot better going to WLOX.com than you are with your cell phone,” said Seibert.

Statistics from Mississippi Highway patrol show more than 120 DUI arrests were made, during the enforcement period, and with holiday parties on the horizon, Seibert encourages everyone to say no to drinking and driving.

“Just because the holiday is over doesn't mean we're going to stop locking up DUIs. I can promise you there's going to be troopers out tonight locking up drunk drivers. Every weekend we have up through Christmas we're going to be out locking up DUI’s,” said Seibert.

Most importantly, Seibert says just paying attention can be the best tool for staying safe on the road.            

“People's thoughts are a big distraction, when everyone's concentrating on Christmas shopping and everything else they have going on in their lives they're not concentrating on driving,” said Seibert.

MHP issued just over 6,000 citations during the Thanksgiving enforcement period, and responded to more than 200 crashes.

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