Troopers Out in Full Force During Thanksgiving Holiday
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State Highway 25, Jackson
Desare Frazier

Expect to see Mississippi Highway Patrol officers blanketing state roadways today through Sunday which marks the official Thanksgiving Holiday Season.

Last year Mississippi High Patrol investigated 171 crashes and two deaths on state highways.  Troopers will be out in full force to catch drivers who are speeding, distracted or drunk. Spokesperson Johnny Poulos says those who plan to drink should have a designated driver behind the wheel. There will also be safety check points to get impaired drivers off the roads. 

"We're working with other states across the nation to bring awareness to the number of crashes states are experiencing and we just want to lower those numbers," said Poulos.

According to AAA nearly 46 million people are driving to their destination this Thanksgiving holiday; the highest rate in 12 years. Travel experts says speeding has become a major problem. Mike Wright with AAA says too many people speeding can lead to crashes.  

"There was a report out that compared the speed on American highways to speeds in other developed countries in terms of violations of speeding that could prove to be deadly," said Wright. 

Michael Flood with the Mississippi Department of Transportation urges drivers to get plenty of rest so they are alert. Also on his list: buckle up and watch out for deer which can lead to crashes.  

"Watch out for wildlife as well. Obviously there is going to be an increase in deer and other wildlife in the area," said Flood. 

Flood recommends drivers check mdottraffic.com to get the latest on accidents and lane closures.