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MHP Labor Day travel watch starts Friday at 12:01 a.m.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol will begin the 2018 Labor Day travel enforcement period Friday at 12:01 a.m. and conclude Monday at midnight.

Due to anticipation of heavy traffic, state troopers will be placing emphasis on efforts to catch motorists who are speeding and driving recklessly.

“Drivers should avoid text messaging or any driver distraction that could endanger lives and have sober designated drivers in place when necessary,” said Capt. Johnny Poulos, director of the public affairs division of MHP.

Safety checkpoints will also be established throughout the period to promote seatbelt usage and remove impaired drivers from the roadways.

MHP investigated 124 crashes — including three fatalities — during the 2017 Labor Day enforcement period. A pedestrian was struck by a car and died in Tippah County and two drivers were killed in a head-on collision in Lamar County.

Troop M, which is located in Brookhaven, issued a total of 231 citations. Troop M serves Lincoln, Lawrence, Walthall, Pike, Amite, Wilkinson, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin counties.

Of the issued citations last year, four were for improper use of a seatbelt and five for failure to properly restrain a child. Three drivers were arrested and charged with driving under the influence. One drug-related arrest was made and one felony arrest was made.

Nine collisions were investigated by Troop M, none of which involved alcohol or injuries.

“We’re hoping all motorists and families will enjoy the last holiday weekend of the summer and arrive at their destinations safely,” Poulos said.