MHP begins enforcement period for Memorial Day weekend

PINE BELT (WDAM) - Thousands of drivers are expected to be on the road during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

And while so many are getting out to celebrate the holiday, the Mississippi Highway Patrol is urging drivers to use caution. The agency's "Drive to Survive" initiative kicked off Friday at 6 p.m. and will run through Memorial Day at midnight.

"We all know that a lot of travelers are going to be out," said MHP Sgt. Travis Luck.  "With this in mind, we ask that drivers slow down, buckle up and just use the common sense things we all need to use while driving."

Luck also advises drivers to avoid getting distracted by putting cell phones down and keeping their eyes on the road.  He said it is always important for people to be aware of their surroundings and other drivers along any route.

With subtropical storm Alberto expected to hit the area, weather is another major concern for drivers to take into consideration when getting out on the road. The forecast predicts heavy rain on Monday when many will either be driving to or back from their vacations.

"We know that people, even with the weather, they are excited to get where they want to go," said Sgt. Luck.  "We ask those travelers they take caution, slow down, you will arrive.  With the weather coming in, it's going to increase the chances of a crash."

The wet weather could also cause slick roads thus chances for hydroplaning and reduced visibility, Luck says.

Here are some tips to be prepared on the road:

  • Make sure your windshield wipers work,
  • Check to see if tires have a sufficient amount of tread
  • Slow down

Troopers will also be conducting safety checkpoints throughout the Memorial Day Holiday across the state. Luck says the checkpoints help crack down on distracted driving and those who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

"This is to keep people safe," said Luck.  "We want to keep these people off the roadways.  If you are going to consume alcohol or have beverages, we ask that you have a designated driver or have somewhere to stay.  Just stay off the highways and roadways."