During the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the Michigan State Police is reminding motorists to make safety a priority during their travel. Troopers will once again join their counterparts from around the country in the traffic safety initiative, Operation C.A.R.E., which is short for Combined Accident Reduction Effort.

Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, says "be warned that as part of Operation C.A.R.E. and the statewide drunk driving enforcement crackdown, troopers will take a zero-tolerance approach to drivers who are operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Troopers will pay special attention to motorists who are not using proper restraints or driving in a reckless or unsafe manner."

The official Fourth of July holiday weekend begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 3rd and ends at 11:59 on Sunday, July 6th. Last year, 17 traffic crashes resulted in 19 deaths over the Fourth of July holiday period.

Operation C.A.R.E. was formed to deter three causes of highway fatalities including aggressive driving, impaired driving, and failure to use occupant restraints. It began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police and has since spread across the country and internationally.