Bowling Green (13abc Action News) - It's one of the busiest holidays of the year. AAA predicts nearly 40 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Memorial Day weekend. That's on the road,in the air, on the rails and by water.
However the bulk of travelers are driving, and the goal is to make sure everyone gets home safely.
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation a slight increase in traffic is expected this Memorial Day compared to last year, and State Troopers are beefing up patrols. Sgt. Shawn Fosgate is with the Ohio State Highway Patrol,"We'll have increased units starting Thursday at midnight and running through midnight on Monday. We'll be looking for what we are always looking for impaired drivers, seat belt violations and keeping distracted driving to a minimum."
According to AAA, 2017 marks the third consecutive year of Memorial Day travel growth.Patrick McColley is the Deputy Director of ODOT District 2."AAA is predicting that about 1.4 Million Ohioans will drive 50 miles from home for the holiday. That means a lot of extra people are on the road."
With all the orange barrels around the region, you have to make sure you are paying extra attention in the construction zones.The advice may sound familiar, but police say the number of accidents is proof it's worth repeating, "Obey the speed limit. Follow the signals on the road like pavement markings that tell you how the road is contoured to get through the work zone. "
Sgt. Fosgate says it's also important to pay attention to more than just the car in front of you, "Make sure you are looking ahead several cars. You may see brake lights before the person in front of you. You can then start preparing to slow down or come to a stop."
And it's not just orange barrels you need to be watching for. Keep an eye out for officers on the side of the road, "When you see the lights, slow down give them the space they need. Move over one lane, slow down and proceed past them with caution."
While there is plenty of construction to contend with, McColley says ODOT is actually waiting until after the holiday weekend to start some of the projects, "We do try to free some things up when additional congestion happens on the road due to the holidays." All part of an effort to make sure this is a safe holiday season for all of us.