MDOT taking measures to increase holiday safety
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Independence Day is associated with fireworks.
But for the Mississippi Department of Transportation, it is seen as one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year.
While the Fourth of July falls on a Monday, many people are still expected to be traveling, both near and far.
The American Automobile Association is expecting nearly 42 million vehicles to be traveling for the holiday in some capacity.
“This is one of the most heavily traveled times of the year,” MDOT spokesman Mike Flood said. “It’s also one of the most dangerous times of the year to travel.
“Independence Day, historically, has a lot of crashes and a lot of drinking and driving has taken place this weekend.”
Even with gas prices remaining at near record highs, many people are expected to be on the road.
Flood said their traffic counters use numbers from multiple years, making it difficult to tell if oil cost will have an impact on the travel numbers.
MDOT is taking precautions to ensure easier and safer travel this Independence Day.
“MDOT is halting all ongoing construction projects throughout the state,” said Flood. “Although all these projects will be halted, there will still be some lane closures in place and lane closures will remain in place to keep drivers safe.”
Flood encourages drivers to take precautions of their own when it comes to traveling this weekend.
“Just drive safely out there, please don’t drink and drive and allow yourself some extra travel time if you’re going to be traveling a long distance,” said Flood.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 512 drivers were killed during the holiday with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher between 2015 and 2019.
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