HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - There's no denying Hattiesburg has some of the busiest intersections, and Hattiesburg Police said the roads will only get more crowded with the holidays.
I tracked accidents around Forrest and Lamar Counties for about three weeks through Mississippi Department of Transportation alerts. Those alerts are sent out when an incident is blocking a lane or could cause a detour. While they are sent out for accidents, construction or planned lane closures, I tracked only accidents that were impacting traffic flow.
From those incidents, I found the most accident-prone intersections to be U.S. 98 at Westover Drive and U.S. 98 at Cross Creek Parkway. U.S. 49 at Mamie Street was also an intersection that had a steady number of incidents.
Lt. Latosha Myers-Mitchell with the Hattiesburg Police Department said the U.S. 98 and Westover Drive intersection is one that officers are often dispatched to.
"People come off the interstate and don't get in the proper lanes and then have to cross back over to get in their correct lanes," Myers-Mitchell said.
WDAM also posted a question on our Facebook page, asking "What do you think are the worst intersections in Hattiesburg?" The post received dozens of comments and it seemed drivers were concerned about the same intersections I tracked through MDOT.
"The intersection by Chik-fil-a. Matter of fact, its the whole convoluted street between Chik-fil-a and Bed Bath & Beyond," April commented on the post. That comment garnered over 180 likes.
Paul wrote, "Its not the intersection that are dangerous, is the over aggressive drivers at these intersections that make them dangerous."
"It is illegal to block intersections, it is illegal to run red lights and it is illegal to disregard traffic devices," Myers-Mitchell said. 'We want motorists to know it's for your safety as well as other people's safety."
Other intersections drivers shared concerns about included U.S. 49 at William Carey Parkway and Sullivan Kilrain Road at Highway 11 in Forrest County.
"Unless we have an officer sitting at the intersection, 24 hours a day, we can't possibly catch everyone that disregards a traffic device," Myers-Mitchell said. "However if you do see one, you can call Hattiesburg Police Department or Metro Crime Stoppers and we will try to enforce the law the best we can."
Lt. Myers-Mitchell said the Hattiesburg Police Department is working to enforce traffic citations and saturation at those heavily traveled areas.
"The goal of the Hattiesburg Police Department is to always keep our motorists and our pedestrians safe. We are aware there are intersections that are busy, where more incidents occur than others," Myers-Mitchell said. "We are going to focus on those areas and try to keep Hattiesburg just as safe and we can and that is going to be an increase in citations and an increase in saturation and keep Hattiesburg as safe as we can."