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4:08 pm
Wed November 25, 2009

MSP steps up patrols on Thanksgiving holiday

East Lansing, MI – The busiest travel days of the year have begun, and the Michigan State Police will be out in force over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to enforce safe driving.

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All available state troopers will monitor Michigan's roads and highways this weekend for unsafe drivers. In 2008, there were nine fatal crashes and 13 deaths over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Michigan State Police Lieutenant Gary Megge says troopers are keeping close watch for drunk drivers, seat belt violations and problems at intersections.

"Many of our severe and fatal crashes occur at intersections," Megge says. "So we are going to monitor alcohol; driving while impaired, seat belt use and intersection violations. Those are kind of our focus, not only this weekend but year round."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Michigan had the highest seat belt use rate in the country in 2008. Megge says that's still the case now, based largely on persistent driver awareness programs.