Patrol to focus on left-hand lane law during holiday period


The Mississippi Highway Patrol will begin the 2019 Fourth of July holiday enforcement period Wednesday, July 3, at 12:01 a.m. and conclude Thursday, July 4, at midnight.

“All available troopers will be assigned to saturation patrols and checkpoints to promote traffic safety,” said Capt. John Poulos, director of public affairs for MHP.

In conjunction with the holiday period, MHP is launching the new traffic safety initiative, “Drive Right Mississippi,” which will run through the month of July.

The initiative will focus on the left-hand lane law, distracted and impaired driving, speeding and seat belt usage.

A Mississippi law that took effect July 1, 2018, says that on any road with at least four lanes, a vehicle should not impede traffic in the left lane. Punishment would be a fine of $5 to $50. The law specifies drivers should only use the left lane for passing, unless the right lane is closed, is in disrepair or is otherwise impassable. Drivers could also use the left lane for a left-hand turn or left exit.

During the Fourth of July holiday period in 2018, MHP investigated 61 crashes with 2 fatalities and made 41 DUI arrests on state and federal highway systems.

“We are asking motorists to have a “Drive Right” mentality while traveling this summer and to join with us in making roadways safer in Mississippi,” Poulos a