MHP works to ensure travel safety with “Making it Home for the Holidays” initiative

Updated: Dec. 24, 2018 at 6:21 PM CST
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The Grinch won’t steal Christmas if the Mississippi Highway Patrol has anything to say about it.

PINE BELT, MS (WDAM) - The Grinch won’t steal Christmas if the Mississippi Highway Patrol has anything to say about it. The agency says they will be out and about making sure motorists are obeying the rules of the road.

"Troopers will be out in full force and, of course, we have our campaign “Home for the Holidays,” Luck said. "So, it’s going to encourage all drivers to be safe and we want everyone to be home with their families and loved ones for the holidays.”

So far, troopers have issued more than three thousand tickets during the 2018 Christmas Travel Enforcement Period, which started on Dec. 21 and ends midnight on Christmas.

“We do see an increase in traffic congestion during the holiday periods," Luck said. “So, therefore, this means that drivers are going to have to kind of step it up a notch and take precaution due to this.”

AAA expects this holiday season to hit record numbers. The organization estimates more than 100 million will either fly, drive or hit the rails to get to their destination. Trooper Luck says taking necessary precautions will help save a life like paying attention to the road.

“We all know the number one thing is distracted driving, so we ask that as law enforcement officials that you make the phone call before you leave and put it down," Luck said. "See them when you get there.”

The Mississippi Highway Patrol will kick off the 2018 Christmas Travel Enforcement Period with a safety awareness...

Posted by Mississippi Department of Public Safety (Official) on Monday, December 17, 2018

Luck also stressed the importance of not drinking under the influence.

“Always have a sober driver if you’re going to consume alcoholic beverages--- just have a sober driver if you have to go anywhere," he said.

Additionally, he urges everyone to buckle up when they get in their vehicle.

“Another important factor is where your seat belts during this time," Luck said. "They do save lives.”

AAA advises motorists to use these tips during the holiday season:

  • Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
  • Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
  • Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area.
  • If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated.
  • Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road.
  • In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. AAA and many other companies offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without making a phone call.

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