Residents Urged to Check Cars Before Memorial Day Travel

Reported by: Alyssa Meisner
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Updated: 5/23/2014 9:41 pm
This Memorial Day weekend, AAA expects 36.1 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home. With the high number of cars on the road, you want to be sure your vehicle is ready and know how local law enforcement is planning to keep your roads safe. If you're getting ready to take a road trip this weekend, make sure to get your car in tip-top shape before you leave. Performance Tire and Wheel in Gulfport says holiday travel should start with checking up on problem spots for long trips.

Jeff Duncan, a mechanic at Performance Tire and Wheel, says, “Make sure they have their windshields clean and make sure they have good wiper blades on them, because you never know when something is going to happen and you're going to need to clean your windows. You want to make sure your air pressure is up in your tires and your tire tread is good, especially in your spare also.” After checking your car, Duncan suggets packing supplies you might need in case you get stuck on the side of the road. Duncan also says, “You also want to take an extra gallon of water, you never know, you might get stopped, and if you have pets in the car, you want to make sure you have water for them.” While you're busy getting your car ready, the Mississippi Highway Patrol is setting up checkpoints to keep our roads safe throughout the weekend.

Lt. Johnny Poulos of the Mississippi Highway Patrol says, “Our main mission is to save lives, and as you can see, we're going to be dealing with a lot of traffic this weekend, so we're just trying to get the message out for people to make good, responsible decisions, and we just want them to make it home safely.” A recent study found Memorial Day to be the most dangerous day on the road, with 2.3 million drivers running red lights last year. Hoping to alleviate some issues, the Mississippi Highway Patrol is teaming up with local law enforcement to have extra patrols out this weekend. Lt. Poulos says the most frequent citation given at checkpoints is drivers not having insurance cards, but sometimes it’s more serious.

Poulos closes, “But keep in mind, impaired-intoxicated drivers we remove from the road, confiscation of drugs after a search. So they're very important tools that we use. We know it can be an inconvenience to the motorist, but here again, it’s a very important tool that we use to save lives.”

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