Police: Use caution as holiday travel ramps up

Published 11:07 pm Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving: Pass the turkey and dressing but watch out for the other drivers on the road.

That’s the message Troy Police are spreading this week as they as urge residents to be careful during a peak travel period.

“The holiday period officially begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 23, and ends at midnight Sunday, Nov. 27,” said Sgt. Benny Scarbrough of the Troy Police.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Chief Jimmy Ennis is advising everything that there will be an increase in traffic in Troy during this time, especially on U.S. 231 as well as other state and U.S. highways ” Scarbrough said. According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holiday periods are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. During the six-day travel period around Thanksgiving, the number of long-distance trips (to destinations at least 50 miles away) increases by 54 percent.

Most long-distance holiday travel, about 91 percent, is by persona vehicle. And, the BTS statistics show that Thanksgiving Day is typically more heavily traveled than Wednesday.

“Troy Police will be concentrating on answering calls for service in Troy as well as traffic patrol and control throughout the city,” Scarbrough said.

AAA predicts that 42.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend (Wednesday – Sunday), which is 4 percent more than in 2010.

To cope with that, Ennis advised travelers to be proactive. “Plan your route well in advance, be sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belts, slow down regardless of the posted speed limit, make sure your vehicle is in good operating condition and is ready for travel,” he said. “Get plenty of rest before you start your trip, stopping frequently, keeping your focus on the road and not on the cell phone or on texting.”