2018-07-05 / Front Page

State police increase presence over busy weekend

Officers stop 127 vehicles in six hours
By Ben Muir

BAD AXE - Michigan State Police last week stopped about 130 vehicles in six hours at two Bad Axe area locations, punctuating an initiative to encourage safe driving on the busy weekend.

Focusing on seat belt use and speed, state police conducted two traffic initiatives on Friday, June 29; one at the intersection of M-142 and Pinnebog Road and another about seven miles west of Bad Axe on South Van Dyke Road near the lane passing stretch.

Of the 127 vehicles that were pulled over - between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - police issued 46 citations, six misdemeanor arrests and 75 verbal warnings, according to 1st Lt. David Kaiser, a spokesman for Michigan State Police.

Although Kaiser doesn’t have another set of stats or past initiative to compare to last week’s, “I will tell you 127 stops, no matter where it is, it’s a lot of stops,” he said.

“It’s not about writing tickets,” he said. “It’s about keeping people safe and enjoy- ing the holiday weekend.”

With the spike in traffic for the holidays, Kaiser said increasing a presence is a way to educate first-time Thumb visitors that police are there to help - that they patrol a sometimes-perceived remote area.

“You don’t want people to be afraid to drive up north and think there is no law enforcement,” he said.

Traffic initiatives are somewhat random, Kaiser said. Troopers are asked to do them periodically, based on collected data and predetermined areas that experience frequent road violations.

“We want to let the public know that we are listening to them,” Kaiser said, “and that we’re out here trying to make people slow down a little bit.”

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