SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (FOX 2) - Another busy travel season is upon us in Michigan, warranting a plea from state police to take it easy on the roads.
With a record-number of people set to drive or fly for the 4th of July weekend, the surge in traffic is prompting law enforcement to ramp up efforts to keep drivers safe.
Some 42 million Americans are expected to travel for the weekend, including 1.7 million in Michigan. Much of that will be trips up north, despite the high gas prices and expected traffic.
But more drivers on the road is worrying to police after Michigan recorded a 16-year high in traffic fatalities in 2021, when more than 1,100 people dying in crashes.
MSP Lt. Mike Shaw says the crashes are "totally preventable" and that police will be focusing on speeding and reckless driving behaviors during enforcement this weekend.
"They key on certain driving behaviors that we've seen. One of them is excessive speed - we're not talking 5 over the limit or 10 over the limit, our troopers are catching people 25, 40, 50 miles over the speed limit," said Shaw.
Gas prices in the state dipped below $5 for the first time in months, according to Gas Buddy. That still exceeds any level of gas prices the state has seen prior to when costs trended up over the spring.