CATEGORY: HWY Highways
Memorial Day traffic fatality count begins at 6 p.m.
By Jane Clark Summers
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
The first major holiday of the summer begins this weekend and so does the death count associated with increased traffic on state and national highways.
The 78-hour Memorial Day holiday officially gets under way today at 6 p.m. and ends Monday at midnight.
The Mississippi Highway Patrol will be out in full force during the three-day period in an effort to reduce the danger of serious injuries and deaths from vehicle crashes. There are 37 more state troopers on the roads than last year at this time, which should enhance highway safety.
“We are concerned about the safety and well-being of our citizens,” said Col. Jimmy Stringer, Mississippi Highway Patrol director. “School is out. Children are on bicycles, and careful consideration should be given when a motor vehicle is being operated.”
Stringer encouraged all drivers and passengers to buckle up for added safety. “Wearing a safety belt is not just a good idea, it’s the law,” he said.
During Memorial Day 1995, eight people died in separate motor-vehicle-related crashes on Northeast Mississippi roadways. Two of those fatalities were pedestrians. Three were killed in crashes on city streets, one in a county road crash and four on state and federal highways.
Last year state troopers arrested 176 drivers for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and issued more than 5,000 tickets for other violations. The major violations involved speeding.
Patrol enforcement units on the ground will be assisted by aircraft to help locate stranded motorists and speeding, drunken or reckless drivers.
Motorists with cellular telephones can assist the patrol by calling *HP (*47) to report emergency situations. The call is free and will be answered by the Highway Patrol substation nearest the caller.