AUGUSTA — Maine state police have begun beefing up patrols as traffic begins picking up in advance of the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Col. Robert Williams, state police chief, said this is one of the busiest times on Maine roads so additional patrols will be monitoring the increased traffic.

He says troopers will be looking for impaired and aggressive drivers, and occupants not wearing seat belts, with special enforcement efforts utilizing federal funding. He says troopers will also be reminding motorists of the next ban on texting while driving that goes into effect in September.

The holiday enforcement efforts coincide with a 23 per cent drop in highway deaths in Maine for the first half of the year. As of Thursday 45 people have died on Maine roads this year.

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