WEST BRANCH – As the summer months begin to draw to a close and the Labor Day holiday rapidly approaches, the Michigan State Police (MSP) West Branch Post is reminding motorists that the post’s “Trunkline Traffic Initiative” is ongoing.

Throughout the summer, troopers have thus far dedicated approximately 165 hours of traffic enforcement to the main roadways, or trunklines, running through the West Branch Post area: M-65, M-55, M-33, I-75 and US-23.  

The patrol time is scheduled on a nearly daily basis, with locations of enforcement at the discretion of the trooper and the sergeant.

The goal of the traffic initiative is to reduce fatalities and injuries through education.

According to the MSP Criminal Justice Information Center, in 2019, the four counties comprising the West Branch Post area – Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco and Ogemaw – saw the following: 3,163 traffic crashes, including 13 incidents which resulted in the death of 16 people, and 433 crashes in which a total of 611 people were injured.

“One life lost or one injury sustained due to excessive speed or impaired driving is one too many,” said Lt. Mike Brown, assistant commander of the West Branch Post. “State troopers and officers with our local partner agencies are the ones who respond to these crashes on daily basis.  We’re out there this summer to try and get the message out through education – or enforcement, if necessary.”

The MSP says that the West Branch Post area is often thought of as the gateway to being “Up North.” Whether you are spending some time here on vacation or simply passing through, troopers ask that you take the time and safely enjoy the scenery – slow down, wear your seat belt and don’t drink and drive.