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During this Fourth of July holiday weekend, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is reminding motorists to make safety a priority when driving.

Again this year, troopers will join their counterparts from across the country in the international traffic safety initiative, Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries.

“As part of Operation C.A.R.E. and the summer-long statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over drunk driving crackdown, troopers will take a zero-tolerance approach to motorists who are driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, are unbelted or exhibiting other dangerous driving behaviors,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP.

Last year, 11 fatal traffic crashes resulted in 12 deaths over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The official Fourth of July weekend begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 1, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 4.

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.

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 from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Quebec Police Force and the U.S. Virgin Islands.