With Memorial Day almost here, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is reminding motorists to make safety a priority during their holiday travel. Again this year, MSP troopers will join their counterparts from across the country in the international safety initiative, Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort).

"As Operation C.A.R.E. enters its 35th year as a widely recognized traffic safety initiative, we are reminding citizens to buckle up and drive safely," said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. "We want to prevent traffic crashes that lead to serious injuries and fatalities by take a zero-tolerance approach to drivers who are operating under the influence of alcohol, not wearing a seatbelt or driving aggressively."

The official Memorial Day weekend begins at 6 p.m., on Friday, May 25, and runs through midnight on Monday, May 28. Last year, seven fatal traffic crashes resulted in nine deaths over the Memorial Day weekend.

Operation C.A.R.E. was formed to deter three causes of highway fatalities: aggressive driving, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints.

Operation C.A.R.E. began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police and is one of the nation's longest-running traffic safety initiatives. Today, it includes state police and highway patrol agencies form all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and others.