Troopers to step up patrols for July 4th

Police in the Philadelphia area will be stepping up patrols to nab drunk drivers during the Fourth of July holiday.

Pennsylvania State Police say several traffic-safety initiatives will be conducted in the Philly region between Wednesday and Monday, including a sobriety checkpoint.

Over the Independence Day holiday last year, officers issued 945 citations, including 490 for speeding, in the patrol area that covers Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties. Troopers also made 23 drunk driving arrests and cited 60 people for seatbelt violations.

There 94 crashes in the three counties over the July Fourth travel period last year.

AAA says Independence Day is the deadliest of the three summer holidays on the roads. Between 2007 and 2011, 670 people were killed in crashes on July 4 nationwide. That's above the 557 people who lost their lives in Memorial Day crashes, and the 529 who died in Labor Day traffic accidents.

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.