MHP increasing patrols for July 4th safety

MHP increasing patrols for July 4th safety
People along the Coast are already out and about getting a head start on the Independence Day fun, and more officers are out as well. (Photo source: WLOX)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi Highway Patrol PIO Chase Elkins says officers are working on their days off to increase police presence on the roadways, in the hopes of deterring drivers from drunk or distracted driving.

From the water park in Gulfport to the beaches of Biloxi, people are already out enjoying what the Coast has to offer for this Fourth of July holiday.

Biloxi resident Shelly Mendoza says, "We have friends in town, and they asked us where would be really a fun place to go, so we came here."

Mendoza says she has visitors in town from New Orleans, so she's playing tour guide for the weekend.

Mendoza says, "We're excited to get in the water, we'll feel a lot better once we get cooled off."

With multiple fireworks shows and watering holes to cool off, the Coast is a popular holiday destination. Chase Elkins with MHP says he wants it to be a safe destination as well.

"This past weekend, we've had high traffic rates on the highways here and on the Coastal district. We've had several troopers out, to increase patrols and increase visibility, in an attempt to deter drivers from driving under influence or distracted," Elkins said. "We also want to remind drivers to wear their seatbelts."

Elkins said the MHP's main focus right now is keeping watch of the major four-lane highways around the Coast. He also says so far this holiday weekend, patrolmen have arrested ten drunk drivers, and they'll continue to keep a vigilant watch for any signs of impaired driving through July 4th.

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