Michigan State Police plan extra Patrols New Year's Eve

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FLINT (WJRT) - (12/29/16) - For the first time in years, more than 1,000 people have died in car crashes here in Michigan.

As of Dec. 28, the Michigan State Police tell us there have been 1,032 fatal accidents statewide in 2016 - that tops last year's total of 957 fatal accidents.

It's a statistic they take seriously.

"It is of concern because it's one of the first years, in many years, it's been over 1,000 for the year," said Sgt. Duane Zook.

So don't be surprised if you see a lot of blue this New Year's Eve.

"There will be extra patrols focusing on traffic related incidents," Zook said. "Being proactive on freeways and Michigan roads."

The extra patrols will clock in New Year's Eve, in hope of avoiding scenes like the deadly wrong-way crash on I-75 earlier this week which killed two women and sent two others, including a baby, to the hospital.

While the exact cause of that crash remains under investigation, Zook says they'll be on the lookout for drugged, drunk and distracted drivers on the road New Year's Eve.

"Using electronics, being distracted, people looking at their cell phones while driving at the same time, it's a very dangerous behavior," Zook said.

In light of those sobering statistics, we decided to talk with folks in downtown Flint in this wine shop to see how they plan to ring in the New Year.

"We all stay at the house we're at, no one leaves, unless they haven't had anything to drink or they have a designated driver with them,” said Flint resident Darren Raymond.

Flint resident Emily Dallaire described her strategy.

"Leaving early, parking at friends and walking and being safe, we know there' a lot of dangerous stuff going on,” she said.

Zook recommends if you are celebrating with alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver or just stay at the home where you're celebrating.

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