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MHP wants you to get home for the holidays safely

Troopers want drivers to pay attention and drive safely this Christmas.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol’s 2020 Christmas Travel Enforcement Period kicks off Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. and continues through midnight Sunday.

Appropriately called “Home for the Holidays,” MHP officials hope they will see fewer crashes, fatalities and arrests this year than 2019. During last year’s enforcement period, MHP investigated 116 crashes and three fatalities, and made 39 DUI arrests over the three-day period.

“We’re asking everyone who will be in the driver’s seat to avoid cell phone distractions, make sure all occupants are restrained and obey the traffic laws while traveling,” said MHP Director Col. Randy Ginn.

Drivers are encouraged to make sure their vehicles are in good working order and they are well rested before driving. Because inclement weather is a possibility across the state, keeping an eye on driving conditions before traveling is also important.

“If you’re traveling, pay attention not only to what you are doing, but also to your surroundings,” said Brookhaven Troop M media officer Cpl. Craig James. “Obey the speed limits and — most importantly — buckle up. Make sure you wear that seat belt.”

Children cannot be responsible for making sure they are properly restrained, Cpl. James said, so it’s up to adults to be certain they are.
“There’s really no excuse for getting a child restraint citation,” he said. “It’s preventable. And as always, don’t drive impaired.”

“Christmas is a special time to spend with family and friends. We can have a safe holiday period if we all work together,” Col. Ginn said. “Our goal is to ensure that everyone makes it home for the holidays.”