MHP Steps up Patrols for Memorial Day Weekend

Officials want a repeat of last year¹s no fatality Memorial Day
Holiday. The 78-hour Memorial Day Holiday begins at 6:00 p.m. today (Friday,
May 24th) and ends at midnight Monday, May 27th (Monday night into Tuesday

³The Memorial Day weekend is the traditional beginning of the
summer holiday travel season,² Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz
said. ³We plan to have all available resources out this Memorial Day Weekend
to encourage motorists to obey the rules of the road.²

Over the past seven years, there has been a steady decline in
the number of statewide fatalities. In 2005, 931 people died on Mississippi
roads and highways. Last year, 582 people were killed in traffic crashes, a
reduction of 38%.

³Seat belts save lives,² MHP Director Colonel Donnell Berry
said. ³The motoring public is better educated about the importance of
wearing safety belts and it is making a difference. Mississippi began its
participation in the Click It or Ticket initiative in 2002. At that time the
seat belt usage rate was about 50 percent. Since then, the usage rate is up
to nearly 82 percent.

During the 2012 Memorial Day Holiday, MHP issued a total of 8,367 tickets,
investigated 101 crashes, made 246 DUI arrests and issued 975 seat belt
violation and 165 child-restraint violation tickets.

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