Police prepare for busy holiday travel season

Travelers park their cars at a rest stop in Mid-Michigan, so they can take a break from the traffic. (Photo credit: Amanda Chodnicki)

The Fourth of July is just around the corner and with the holiday, comes the holiday traffic.

Some people tried to get a head start to beat the traffic, but they said it didn't make much of a difference.

"This is one of the worst [traffic] right now," Jared Purdy said. "It's been backed up ever since I left Lincoln park."

Purdy said this has been one of the worst Fourth of July travel experiences for him and his family and it's a drive they've done many times before.

"My grandpa lives up in Tawas, so we go up there every Fourth of July," he said.

Other travelers echoed Purdy.

"It's been a little heavy and a lot of stop and go," another motorist said. "It's just the barrels and the signs, so people are anticipating the stopping due to some of the construction going on."

Another reason for the stop-and-go traffic, Lt. Dave Kaiser with the Michigan State Police said, is all the distracted drivers.

Kaiser said they have what they call "directed patrols" out this weekend for just that.

He said this means officers are assigned to specifically look for distracted and aggressive drivers.

"There are a lot of distracted drivers out there and that's what it seems like on some of the stops though because it's backed up but then it clears in like 5 minutes," Purdy said. "What was the backup for? There's no police cars. There's no accidents."

Kaiser said they have these directed patrols out specifically for the holiday weekend to help ensure everyone gets to their destination safely.

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