As more people hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, so will state troopers

Ohio

(WKBN) – It’s the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day weekend, and if you plan on traveling, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that about 60 percent more people will be hitting the roads compared to last year, but there are some things you need to know before heading out.

Triple-A expects more people will be traveling this year.

“A lot of traffic. Lots of traffic, lots of state patrolmen out, three or four at a time working together,” said traveler Bob Boley.

Which shouldn’t come as a surprise. When higher travel is expected, so is the number of troopers.

“So those main highways and main routes, you’ll see an increased presence of troopers throughout this holiday weekend,” said Sgt. Ray Santiago, public information officer for the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Police will be on the lookout for impaired drivers and people not wearing seat belts. Even with limited travel last year, there were 20 fatal crashes during the holiday weekend.

“That’s a high number for a year in which traffic was significantly decreased,” Sgt. Santiago said.

Last year, the pandemic was sweeping the nation, so travel was way down. But this year is expected to be different.

“I think everybody is just burned out on the COVID. You’re seeing campers, travel trailers everywhere on the road,” Boley said.

The biggest piece of advice? Planning.

“Making sure you know what times you’re leaving to go to and come from your destination so that you can avoid some of those peak times or when you know traffic is going to be more dense than other times,” Sgt. Santiago said.

“Make sure you leave early or late. Don’t leave during typical travel times or rush hour times if you’re headed through metropolitan areas. That’s going to be a long wait for you because travel has picked up this year compared to last year,” said Lynda Lambert, with Triple-A.

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