The leaves on the trees are starting to turn brilliant colors and labor day is right around the corner.
Many enjoy Labor Day by taking in a parade or barbequing with family and friends. But distracted or impaired driving makes Labor Day weekend one of the deadliest in Michigan.
“During the Labor Day holiday weekend and the week that surrounds Labor Day, there tends to be a little bit more higher traffic volume. It’s the end of tourist season with school starting shortly after or even before Labor Day, so people are trying to get their last minute travels throughout the UP in,” said Lt. Mark Giannunzio, MSP Negaunee Post. “You’ll see an increase in traffic flow the last couple weeks of the summer. So it is really important to be out there and enforce the traffic laws. We are making sure drivers are out there wearing seat belts, going the speed limit and not getting distracted.”
Lieutenant Mark Giannunzio said that the Michigan State Police have increased patrols to meet the high volume of traffic in the Upper Peninsula. And they are cracking down on impaired driving.
“We’re telling our troops that for the next couple of weeks, we need to put a focus on traffic safety just because of that high volume of traffic that is traveling through the UP. So, our troops tend to spend more time out patrolling and less time, maybe doing trainings or report writing. We try to put that off the next few weeks,” said Lt. Giannunzio. “Anything emergent like a criminal complaint or an investigation, of course we are going to handle that. But, just the every day trainings and report writings, we’re going to have our troops focus more on the roads and so they have that mindset of that they are looking for these violations.”
Giannunzio wants UP residents and visitors to know what police are looking for, and what drivers can do to keep from getting pulled over or worse.
“Watch your speeds, don’t get distracted. When the cellphone rings or that text message goes off, that notification, do everything you can to not get distracted,” said Lt. Giannunzio. “If people obey the speed limits and not get distracted, we will cut down a ton on our crashes.”
Many events will be taking place around the UP to celebrate Labor Day.
Remember to stay safe, have a designated driver and send that incoming phone call to voicemail.