NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP — It’s time for another big holiday weekend, and travel will be a big part of that weekend for many residents.

Michigan State Police are again participating in Operation C.A.R.E., one of the nation’s longest–running traffic safety initiatives. Additional patrols will be added across the state to help keep drivers safe as they go to and from their Independence Day festivities.

“Last year at this time, we had eleven fatal traffic crashes. So this year in the Upper Peninsula, we’d like to strive for zero deaths,” said Michigan State Police Trooper Stacey Rasanen. “We’ll be out there to assist motorists along with taking care of people that are doing things that are not safe for motorists on the roadway.”

Troopers will be on the lookout for drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs. Even legally prescribed drugs can have an adverse effect on a driver’s abilities behind the wheel. Distracted drivers will also be a focus of the patrols, and that means more than just drivers who eat or text on the road.

“They can be drivers that are even daydreaming. If you find yourself daydreaming, you want to make sure to pull over to make sure that others are safe,” Rasanen added.

Added patrols begin today and continue through the Fourth of July. This will be the 39th Independence Day since Operation C.A.R.E. began.