MHP to keep strong presence on MS highways during Christmas holiday

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2017


The Mississippi Highway Patrol will kick off the 2017 Christmas Travel Enforcement Period with a safety awareness initiative titled “Making It Home for the Holidays.”

This high visibility safety initiative will run through the end of the year and is designed to ensure safe travel for motorists while also reminding them of their responsibilities during the busy holiday season.

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The MHP 2017 Christmas Travel Enforcement Period begins Friday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. and will conclude Monday, Dec. 25 at midnight. All available Troopers will be utilized on all state, federal, and interstate systems to combat reckless driving along with speeding and distracted driving issues.

Safety checkpoints will also be conducted throughout the period in order to enforce child restraint and seatbelt laws while also removing impaired drivers. MHP investigated 141 crashes including three fatalities during the 2016 Christmas enforcement period.

If alcohol is included in celebrations, MHP urges motorists to designate a sober driver or have other means of safe transportation.

While celebrating this year, the Mississippi Department of Transportation offers these tips to ensure Mississippi’s roads remain safe for all motorists this holiday season.

— If you drink alcohol, do not get behind the wheel for any reason.  Make sure you have a designated driver in mind or a taxi to take you home…

— Hand your keys over to a trusted friend or family member at the beginning of the night before the first drink. This removes any temptations of thinking you are okay enough to drive.

— Hold your friends and family accountable; if someone is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel. Take their keys and make sure they have a sober ride home.

— Impaired drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but also to other innocent drivers on the road. If you suspect someone is driving drunk, call the police when it is safe to do so.

— Be aware of other drivers: don’t assume that everyone else is driving as safely as you are.

“MDOT wants everyone to celebrate the holidays safely, Remember, drugged driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving and driving under the influence of certain prescription medications can be just as deadly,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “We want everyone to make smart decisions over the holidays and truly enjoy their time spent with friends and family celebrating this wonderful time of the year.”