By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – After encountering two fatalities on the state highways over the Christmas holiday, the Mississippi Highway Patrol is focused on safety during the New Year’s holiday.
Spanning from noon Christmas Eve through midnight, Dec. 27, the Christmas holiday was busy for troopers across the state. More than 6,000 citations were issued, 85 people were charged with DUI, 193 accidents were investigated with 34 resulting in injury. The two deaths happened in Batesville and Hattiesburg. Both victims were not wearing their seat belts.
Five people died in accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday this year.
Trooper Ray Hall with Troop F out of New Albany said Christmas was busy, but expects New Year’s to be even busier. Beginning Thursday, MHP will start enforcement for the holiday. Extra troopers will be on the roads conducting patrols, safety checkpoints and assisting stranded motorists.
“New Year’s falls on a Friday this year, so people will be on the highways Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” said Hall. “So we are definitely expecting a very high volume of traffic.”
Hall said because New Year’s is more of a party holiday, troopers will pay close attention to drunk drivers.
“We hope there are no drunk drivers on the roads, but we have to anticipate that there will be,” he said. “So we will be out looking for them. Especially in the late hours.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.