- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

HOUMA, La. (AP) - State troopers have introduced new motorcycle patrols along high-risk roadways in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes in a proactive effort to curb accidents.

Authorities tell The Courier (http://bit.ly/1KQDPUb) the patrols will be permanent and will take place during the day and night. Troopers will be looking for hazardous driving behaviors that could lead to a crash in the daytime and for DWIs in the nighttime.

Citations run the gamut from improper seat belt usage, not using the proper turning lane, speeding, texting while driving and DWIs, authorities said.

Thus far, about 800 citations have been issued to motorists since the patrols began in mid-August, particularly along Martin Luther King Boulevard and La. 3040, which troopers have identified as a major problem area in Houma.

Car crashes along Martin Luther King Boulevard and LA. 3040 have dropped by more than 20 percent since the patrols were introduced, State Police Troop C spokesman Evan Harrell said.

“Now that we’ve seen a decrease, we’re now expanding into other areas in the parish,” Harrell added.

Troopers began preliminary patrols in Lafourche Wednesday along the Leeville Bridge, another hot spot for car crashes.

While the main problem areas have already been mapped out, Harrell said that the patrols will adjust according to the need for enforcement.

“If we see an area that has a rise in crashes or hazardous driving behaviors, we can quickly bring in this extra enforcement in order to help curb that alarming trend,” he added.

Similar patrols were conducted in the past but not to the same frequency and consistency, authorities said.

“The recent additions to Troop C from the new graduating class have now given us extra manpower to make this proactive enforcement possible,” Harrell said. “It’s an added benefit to our current patrols.”

About 12 new troopers have joined Troop C since April, increasing its ranks to about 67 troopers. Besides Terrebonne and Lafourche, Troop C also covers Assumption, St. James and St. John parishes.

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Information from: The Courier, http://www.houmatoday.com

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