Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said on Friday that his state is nearing the point where declaring a disaster may be considered in order to ensure that there are enough troopers on the road to save the lives of individuals involved in traffic collisions on the freeways.

"If we can't get more troopers on the road we're going to lose lives," Bryant said. "People's very lives depend upon having more troopers on that road."

According to the Clarion Ledger, only 489 of the 650 positions allowed by state law are filled. Of those positions, 328 are assigned to the road. To compound problems, 149 troopers are eligible for retirement.

The Clarion Ledger reports that the number of highway fatalities and injuries has been steadily climbing as the number of troopers has declined.