The Mississippi Highway Patrol will begin the 2021 Fourth of July Holiday Enforcement Period tonight at 12:01 a.m. and conclude Monday at midnight.
State troopers will place emphasis on saturation patrols to combat speeding and reckless driving. Safety checkpoints will be established throughout the period in order to promote seatbelt usage.
“We will step up our enforcement efforts during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend and continue to work with our law enforcement partners across the state,” said Lieutenant Colonel Malachi Sanders, Deputy Director of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. “Our goal is to deter distracted driving, remove impaired drivers, and lower the number of vehicle crashes on our roadways.”
During the Fourth of July holiday period in 2020, MHP investigated 137 crashes with four fatalities and made 116 DUI arrests on state and federal highway systems. Due to the increase in summer traffic, motorists are asked to make responsible decisions while traveling and help make roadways safer in Mississippi.
American Automobile Association estimates that 47.7 million Americans are planning to travel between July 1–5, with 43.6 million traveling by car.
They project that travel over Independence Day weekend will “nearly” be at pre-pandemic levels, with 2021 numbers only expected to fall 2.5% over 2019, which saw the highest-ever July 4 traveler volume on record.
According to AAA, the worst times to drive on highways will be:
- Friday: Between 4–5 p.m.
- Saturday: Between 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
- Sunday: Free flow expected
- Monday: Between 4–5 p.m.