Many local residents will be hitting the road over the holiday weekend. Some of those drivers won't be wearing seat belts or will make the dangerous decision to drive drunk. Area law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for those drivers this weekend.
Law enforcement officers from 150 local police departments, sheriff's offices and the Michigan State Police - including Delta County - are continuing stepped up drunk driving and seat belt enforcement through the Labor Day holiday weekend, a popular Michigan travel time.
The federally funded extra patrols are part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which began Aug. 15 and will last through Monday.
"The Labor Day holiday weekend is a time for many families to celebrate and travel our great state. For law enforcement officers, however, it is a time for extra drunk driving and seat belt patrols," said Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) Director Michael L. Prince. "These dedicated officers will be conducting strict, stepped up enforcement so everyone can travel safely this holiday."
During the 2013 Labor Day holiday, 10 people were killed in traffic crashes. Of those fatalities, three were alcohol related. One driver who was killed was not wearing a seat belt.
Nearly half of vehicle occupants who were killed in traffic crashes in 2013 were not wearing seat belts. In addition, alcohol- and/or drug-involved traffic fatalities increased to 354 in 2013, from 342 in 2012.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign enforcement is occurring in the counties of Alpena, Antrim, Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Charlevoix, Chippewa, Cheboygan, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Eaton, Emmet, Genesee, Gogebic, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kalkaska, Kent, Leelanau, Livingston, Mackinac, Macomb, Manistee, Marquette, Menominee, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Otsego, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw, Wayne and Wexford.
Grant-funded seat belt and drunk driving enforcement is part of Michigan's Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in February 2013.