Holiday roads: Troopers urge safety in travel

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ROD GUAJARDO/The Natchez Democrat — John R. Baker Sr. pumps gas at the Go Mart on U.S. 61 South and Highland Boulevard. Dozens of Miss-Lou residents are headed out of town this week for holiday travel.

NATCHEZ — Miss-Lou residents will join 42.5 million Americans as they hop aboard planes, trains and automobiles for Thanksgiving travels this year.

According to AAA, those numbers reflect people traveling 50 miles or more from home and is a 4 percent increase from last year.

Of those traveling, 90 percent will drive and 8 percent will fly. The remaining 2 percent will travel on bus, train or multi-modal travel.

Staff Sgt. Rusty Boyd said the Mississippi Highway Patrol always puts an emphasis on keeping the roads safe, but especially during the holiday season.

“Everybody just needs to keep in mind that it’s important where you’re going, but getting there safe is also important,” Boyd said.

Boyd said drivers should make sure they’re prepared to drive — both mentally and physically.

“The safety of others is in the hands of everyone driving,” Boyd said.

Louisiana State Police will have an increased number of troopers on patrol targeting lack of seat belts and aggressive or impaired drivers.

In 2010, 58 percent of Louisiana drivers killed were not wearing a seat belt.

“Sadly, the holidays, which for many are the happiest time of the year, can be deadly and tragic,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. “The primary danger to travelers is the possibility of being involved in a vehicle collision. These dangers can be reduced by properly preparing for your trip, driving defensively and always wearing a seat belt.”