DETROIT – There’s a stretch of freeway in Michigan that state police say has become a magnet for crashes since the pandemic.
Now Michigan State Police are stepping up patrols in hopes of changing that.
Since the pandemic, police have seen an increase in accidents on I-75 in particular, which is why they’ve launched the initiative called “Stay Alive on I-75″ this week.
“It’s just us trying to put a little bit of emphasis or attention on those areas that we know people need to be aware of their surroundings,” said Michigan State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division Lt. Steve Pascoe.
Pascoe says they’ve placed 50 patrol officers along I-75 from the Michigan and Ohio border all the way up to Sault Ste. Marie in the Upper Peninsula.
“And so we’re out today and throughout the week to address driver violations, which are the leading causes of traffic crashes,” Pascoe said.
Pascoe said they’re looking for certain things.
“(We’re looking for things like) following to close, improper lane use, distracted driving, and speeding,” Pascoe said
The goal of the initiative is to not write tickets but instead just have a presence on the freeway to remind people to practice better driving habits.
“There’s no incentive for us to write tickets,” Pascoe said. “I want everyone to know that.”
But if you do get pulled over, Pascoe says the best thing to do is to calmly find a way to get out of the line of traffic.
“If there’s a ramp available, or getting as far off to the right as they can, the shoulder is the preferred location to stop,” Pascoe said.
The Stay Alive on I-75 initiative will last through Saturday (Aug. 13); however, they hope drivers will continue to practice smart driving even when police presence goes back to normal.
I-75 isn’t the only freeway Michigan State Police will focus on this year as the next freeway, they’re planning to increase patrols on I-94 in the next couple of months.