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Troopers Monitor Roads, Checkpoints This July 4th

Troopers Monitor Roads, Checkpoints This July 4th
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Highway Traffic
Associated Press

Forth-seven million people are expected to travel this Fourth of July according to AAA and many of them will be on Mississippi roads. As MPB's Desare Frazier reports, trooper will be out in full force and a new law will be in affect as well.

Mississippi troopers are fanning out across the state to make sure drivers obey the rules of the road this Fourth of July, one of the busiest travel holidays of the year. Captain Johnny Poulos with the state highway patrol says there will be checkpoints set-up.

"If you do encounter a checkpoint. Please have your driver's license and your insurance information readily available for the officer. This way we can get traffic flowing and we get people on their way and headed to their destination," said Poulos.

Poulos says expect heavy traffic and rain to make traveling a slow-go in some areas. Also, a new law took effect July 1st which makes it unlawful to continually drive in the farthest left lane of the highway, when there are two or more lanes going in the same direction.

"The only time you can occupy that left lane is when you're overtaking and passing a vehicle or when the right lane is impassable for whatever reason," said Poulos.

Poulos says construction may require drivers use the left lane. He knows it will take some time to get used to the new law. Poulos adds troopers will be checking to see that children are properly restrained, drivers are obeying the speed limit, they're not distracted and driving sober. Colleen Sheehy Church is with Mother's Against Drunk Driving. She doesn't want anybody getting behind a wheel drunk.

"And that wheel could be a motorcycle, a vehicle, a boat, and airplane an ATV. We don't want you getting behind a wheel if you're impaired," said Church.

Church is urging people to select someone who isn't drinking to be the designated driver. Last year three people died on Mississippi federal and state highways during the July 4th holiday period.