Thanksgiving weekend free of auto fatalities

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop M officials are happy to reportthe Thanksgiving holiday was safe and free of traffic fatalitiesand alcohol-related accidents this year.

Troop M Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Rusty Boyd said part of thesafety factor can be attributed to the fact that the area iswell-staffed with troopers. Visibility saves lives, Boyd said.

“We had good enforcement out, being seen out there,” he said.”And you can’t account for the luck factor. We came out of itreally good though.”

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Troop M had 15 total accidents in its nine-county area, thoughnone were alcohol-related and none were fatal. There were a totalof seven injuries in the district.

Meanwhile, there were also 15 arrests for driving under theinfluence. Boyd said some of those were made at drivers licensecheckpoints, but some were probably general traffic.

“I couldn’t specify where each of them came from,” he said. “I’msure some of them were at the checkpoints, but I’m sure some ofthem came from routine traffic stops as well.”

The district recorded a total of three drug arrests and twoother felony arrests, with 27 tickets given out for improper seatbelts or child restraints. There were a total of 1,031 citationsissued over the holiday weekend, more than all but one of the otherdistricts in the state.

Boyd said Troop M is well-staffed this year, which helps when itcomes to keeping the roads safe at holiday times.

“We are better staffed in this district now than we have been inthe last 20 years, more troopers on the road on a daily basis,” hesaid.

Meanwhile, with the holiday season swinging into high gear, Boydsaid travelers need to keep in mind that higher vehicle volumes onthe roads mean it’s important to focus on safe driving.

“With temperatures falling, if there’s moisture in the air, icepatches will form, especially on the bridges,” he said. “Mostpeople down here are not used to these kinds of hazards on thehighway, so pay attention and look out for the other drivers.”