Law enforcement officers across the Ark-La-Tex have beefed up patrols and monitoring of local roadways and highways this Fourth of July holiday weekend as residents gear up for various celebrations and travel.
Drivers should expect to encounter several safety check points, where officers will be looking for aggressive and impaired drivers, along with anyone not wearing a seatbelt.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in July 2009, there were more fatal alcohol related crashes across the country than any other time of year, even more than the New Year's holiday.
Caddo Parish Sheriff, Steve Prator says not wearing a seatbelt while traveling is one of many factors that contribute to most of the fatal accidents law enforcement work during the holidays.
"You have to wear your seat belt, said Prator. "There's really no sense in not wearing a seat belt. It's a violation of the law, but that's not the important thing." Prator added, "The important thing is that you've got to do it for the people that love you so you don't fall victim to an accident."
One another note, AAA estimates that there will be fewer travelers on the roads this Fourth of July weekend than in 2010.
They predict that total travel will be down about 2.5 percent.