DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Fourth of July travel weekend is in full swing as of Friday. Not only can you expect to see more drivers on the road, there will also be more law enforcement patrols.
AAA reports the majority of people will drive to their Fourth of July destinations this year.
“Fourth of July weekend is going to be a very busy weekend for us with all the travel that’s going on in the Ohio area, expecting over 2 million Ohioans be driving on the road this holiday weekend,” Dayton AAA Fleet Supervisor Herbie Gross said.
With more drivers on the road, travelers will also see more Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers now through Monday night.
“We increased the number of troopers on the road,” OSHP Dayton Post Commander Lt. Dallas Root said. “We make sure that we are available, we are visible, and that we are proactively stopping cars and mitigating some of these issues like impaired driving.”
If your Independence Day party includes alcohol, don’t drink and drive. Law enforcement will be on alert for an increase in impaired drivers.
The Montgomery County OVI Task Force will have an OVI checkpoint at Salem Avenue and Gettysburg Avenue Sunday night starting at 7 p.m.
“We’re hoping that, you know, they’ll see us out, hoping that they’ll slow down, that hoping and we’re hoping that they don’t choose to drive impaired either,” Cpt. Brad Daugherty with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said.
ODOT is also reminding drivers to put down their phones and other distractions.
Even though construction zones won’t be active this weekend, drivers should still slow down and pay attention in those areas. Construction will resume on Tuesday for those traveling home after the holiday.
“It may take them longer to get home from their destinations than they originally planned, but also just make sure if you see those orange barrels that you slow down,” ODOT Southwest Ohio Regional Public Information Officer Mandi Dillon said. “You know, oftentimes our crews are working just within feet of the traveling public and we want to make sure that everybody goes home safely at the end of the workday.”
For some in the Miami Valley, record-high prices at the pump have them rethinking their holiday travel plans altogether.
“I would love to see it go down a lot more,” Robin Mongold from Trotwood said. “You know, everybody’s watching their travels and the prices. A lot of people are staying home.”
“When I consider flying somewhere, I’m looking at the price and going up in the market, changing,” Stan McKnight from Dayton said. “As far as considering taking the trip, I think I’m still at home this weekend now that I just made my mind up and after spending all this money on gas.”
Cpt. Root said within the first six hours of their Fourth of July patrols, OSHP Dayton Post already made three OVI arrests.