Extra state troopers expected on patrol Thanksgiving weekend

LANSING — As motorists across Michigan prepare for a Thanksgiving holiday filled with travel, food and family, the Michigan State Police is conducting Michigan’s largest Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) traffic enforcement initiative Nov. 26-30, 2014.

“Our goal is to prevent traffic crashes and fatalities so every family can celebrate a safe holiday season,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “With extra troopers on patrol, make sure your Thanksgiving to-do list includes wearing a seat belt, designating a sober driver and avoiding distractions like talking on your phone while driving.”

Thanksgiving is the second deadliest holiday in Michigan for traffic crashes. In 2013, there were 12 traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving holiday; a 30 percent increase from nine fatalities in 2012.

Beginning Wednesday, troopers across the state will conduct high-visibility enforcement focusing on impaired driving, seat belt use, careless driving and speeding. The extra patrols are paid for with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

The effort is supported by the Give Thanks. Drive Safely. public awareness campaign that includes a public service announcement available at www.youtube.com/OHSP. Each campaign element features illustrations of traditional Thanksgiving items to create a connection between driving safely and enjoying the holiday.

In addition, the Michigan Department of Transportation will display safe driving reminders on its freeway message boards and at rest areas throughout the busy travel weekend. Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is supporting the effort by placing campaign materials in her branch offices.

Operation C.A.R.E. is a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities on highways across the country. It began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police. Today Operation C.A.R.E. is one of the nation’s longest running traffic safety initiatives and includes state and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, as well as some American territories and Canadian provinces.

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Posted by Sean Bradley

Sean is the city and cops and courts reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the entertainment and Reasons to Celebrate pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3109 or sbradley@pioneergroup.com.

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