Highway patrols in force during holiday

Published 1:00 am Saturday, September 3, 2016

NATCHEZ —State law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Mississippi River are encouraging motorists be extra careful this Labor Day weekend.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol and Louisiana State Police warn drivers against impaired driving during the holiday weekend, as well as increased traffic and the risk of accidents.

MHP said in a statement that state troopers will place emphasis on patrols to combat reckless and distracted driving during the weekend. Additional safety checkpoints will be established to promote seat-belt usage and remove impaired drivers from roadways.

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Drivers are urged to avoid text messaging or any driver distraction that could endanger lives while traveling.

MHP investigated 132 crashes including four fatalities during the 2015 Labor Day enforcement period.

In Louisiana last year over the Labor Day weekend, LSP troopers “had the difficult task of notifying five Louisiana families that one of their loved ones was killed in a preventable crash,” LSP said in a statement.

“There is nothing more difficult than informing a mother that her child has been killed in a preventable crash,” said State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson, state Police Superintendent. “Please, have a plan in place that gets you home safely this Labor Day weekend”.

In conjunction with the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, motorists should see an increased law enforcement presence on highways targeting dangerous driving behaviors, such as impaired driving, speeding, unrestrained occupants, aggressive driving and distracted driving.

Driver impairment continues to be a leading factor in fatal crashes across the state, LSP said in the statement.

Louisiana motorists can use Louisiana Traveler Information System through several different methods, including the 511 phone system, www.511la.org, Louisiana 511 app, LA DOTD Twitter accounts and the Way to Geaux smartphone application. Information accessible includes current road reports on crashes and construction, real-time traffic camera views, and ferry status updates.

Motorists who witness hazardous situations are urged to call *LSP (*577).