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MHP focus on areas of higher traffic

Mississippi Highway Patrol officials are reminding motorists inorder to have an enjoyable holiday, everyone needs to get home inone piece.

MHP Troop M Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Rusty Boyd saidbeginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, MHP will step up its patrols onlocal highways and interstates, emphasizing places that arehigh-crash areas.

“We just want everyone to get there as safe as you can. It’sabout public safety,” he said.

MHP troopers will be paying closer attention in several problemareas, but will be roaming all the area highways.

“The areas we’ve had some problems, we’ll be in those areas indifferent counties,” Boyd said. “We have those places in everycounty.”

Boyd said there will be more troopers than usual on the road, asis customary during holidays and high traffic times.

There will be checkpoints to crack down on impaired driving andseat belt and child restraint usage. Not wearing a seat belt, Boydsaid, is a primary offense which gives law enforcement the right tostop drivers.

“That continues to be an issue, it’s amazing the people thatstill don’t realize how much safer wearing a seat belt is,” Boydsaid. “Or who don’t take the responsibility to make sure thechildren are buckled up in a vehicle, and there are still peopledrive down the road with children in their lap.”

The extra patrols will go on through midnight Sunday, Nov. 29,Boyd said.

In addition, the highway patrol is once again reminding driversto “move over.”

The law, instituted last July, requires motorists to move overat least one lane when they approach an emergency vehicle stoppedon the side of the road, including tow trucks and highwaymaintenance vehicles. If a lane change is impossible, the drivermust slow down and prepare to stop.

“We’re trying to do the best we can as far as educating people,but it’s hard to do because while we’re stopped on the side of theroad with someone, it’s hard to break loose and go after someoneelse,” he said. “I don’t know what it’s going to take to get peopleto realize that’s a bad situation.”

Boyd encouraged motorists to simply focus on safety while theydrive, not only during the holidays, but at all times.

“Be safe, always keep safety in mind,” he said. “When you’redriving, that should be the number one thing on your mind is how tomake it home safely.”