MHP hopes to reduce Memorial Day weekend deaths

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Nine people died on Mississippi highways during the 2011 Memorial Day weekend.

The Highway Patrol hopes to reduce that number on the roads it covers during the 78-hour holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at midnight Monday.

Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz says that over the past seven years, there has been a steady decline in the annual number of statewide fatalities. In 2005, 931 people died on Mississippi roads and highways. In 2011, 630 people were killed in traffic crashes.

The Highway Patrol will use about $140,000 in federal grants to beef up patrols as the “Click It or Ticket” campaign continues.

Mississippi was one of eight states where the Click It or Ticket campaign began in 2002.