Law enforcement out in full force for Memorial Day weekend - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Law enforcement out in full force for Memorial Day weekend

AAA estimates about 35 million people will be making road trips this weekend. (Photo source: WLOX) AAA estimates about 35 million people will be making road trips this weekend. (Photo source: WLOX)
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Close to 35 million people will be taking road trips throughout the country this weekend, and a lot of them will be on South Mississippi roadways. Law enforcement agencies will be out in full force with this week's deadly accident on I-10 fresh on their minds.

"We’re looking for that to be the last one for this holiday season," said Chase Elkins with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

But with the expected increase in traffic this weekend, the potential is there.

"I pray to God nobody dies," said Devin Fraioli of Gulfport.

Fraioli saw an accident during Memorial Day last year. Fortunately, no one was hurt seriously, but he’s worried.

"I hope everybody gets home safe for the holidays," he said. "And, mostly, try not to have any car accidents because of the heavy traffic on the highways."

Jeanette Bernard won't be traveling much.

"I am kind of worried about the traffic because of the fact of the major accident we had in Jackson County on I-10," she said. "We’ll probably stay at home instead of traveling down the road because it’s going to be too much traffic. And people tend to be in a rush during the holiday season, trying to get where they’re going or get home from wherever they were coming from."

For Felicia Romero and friends, there is safety in numbers. Everyone keeps an eye out for the driver.

"Everybody says, ‘Can I drive, can I drive? How are you feeling?’ You know, we do that."

They left early for their annual getaway to Orange Beach.

"Maybe tomorrow or later this afternoon it’s going to be worse, but hopefully we’ll be there and settled by the time all that starts."

Law enforcement agencies have several safety campaigns out including the Mississippi Highway Patrol with its Drive to Survive initiative.

"We’ll have guys coming out on their scheduled days off to work to beef up patrols for us so that we can have the presence of highway patrol on the highways," Elkins said. "Maybe we will be able to deter some of the careless driving."

Elkin’s big advice: slow down, pay attention and leave early.

"We don’t like to be late, but it’s okay. Your destination will still be there. But what we want is we want you to get to your destination."

Last year, MHP investigated 132 crashes with two fatalities over the Memorial Day holiday. The Drive to Survive initiative began Friday at 6pm and will end Monday at midnight.

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