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Predicting a busy Thanksgiving weekend, state and local authorities are asking travelers to keep everyone’s safety in mind while on the road.
Folks should leave early and drive slowly, said Middlesex Police Chief Mike Collins.
All drivers and passengers need to be wearing their seat belts, said Steve Abbott, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Transportation.
The annual Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign will be in place through Dec. 1. Law enforcement will be out in full force enforcing speeding, drunken driving and seat belt laws in all 100 counties, Abbott said.
Wednesday evening is expected to be the busiest time for travel, with heavy congestion expected on Interstates 95 and 40. Sunday will be another big travel day as people head home.
“Roads will be crowed. Drive slow,” said Bailey Police Chief Steve Boraski.
State transportation officials are suspending most construction activity along major highways to keep lanes open for holiday travelers.
The work shutdown along interstates, U.S. highways and key N.C. routes is expected to last until Dec. 2. There are exceptions where construction conditions make it unsafe to open all lanes, including some locations where lanes are under construction or where a bridge is being replaced and there is no roadway. Work that doesn’t affect travel lanes can also continue for some projects, Abbott said.
Drivers can check on the status of the highways they plan to use by visiting DriveNC.gov before they start their trip or having a passenger do so to get an update while on the road. It provides the status of roads by route, county or region and is updated 24 hours a day. Motorists can also see how busy roads were for last year’s Thanksgiving heaviest travel days to give them an idea of what they could be dealing with this year, according to information provided by the NCDOT.
Drivers are urged to use caution through the extended weekend and obey posted speed limits, even in work zones where no construction activity is taking place.
TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS
Here are some additional tips from the NCDOT for safe driving during the holiday season:
• Use alternative routes if possible to avoid traffic congestion.
• To avoid drowsy driving, travel at times normally awake and take frequent breaks.
• Avoid distracted driving.
• If drinking alcohol, don’t drive at all.
• Pay extra attention to nearby vehicles along the roadway.