Turkey Day is busy travel time


Sunbury News Staff



Now Open in time for Thanksgiving Travel

The remaining two ramps to complete the Interstate 270/SR315/US 23 North Side Mega Fix project are now open.

Just before 5 this morning, the ramps from US 23 to State Route 315 and Interstate 270 west opened.

These are brand new ramps that were constructed as part of the $148 million North Side Mega Fix project. Construction started in this area four years ago.

Drivers are urged to use extra caution and read the signs. It will take a few passes through the area to figure out lane assignments and exits since there is so much that is new.

Patrol reminds motorists to wear safety belts this Thanksgiving holiday

Click it or Ticket

COLUMBUS – In anticipation of increased traffic during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to buckle up, never drive impaired and always follow traffic laws.

Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, nine people were killed in nine fatal crashes on Ohio’s roadways. Five of those fatalities were the result of an impaired driver and six were unbuckled. To promote traffic safety, troopers will have an increased presence on Ohio’s roadways to remove impaired drivers.

AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year.

“It’s simple – safety belts save lives and reduce injury in crashes,” Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol Superintendent said. “It is the easiest and most effective action you can take to protect yourself, your family and friends.”

The 2017 Thanksgiving Holiday reporting period begins Wednesday, November 22 at 12 a.m. and ends Sunday, November 26 at 11:59 p.m. Motorists are encouraged to report impaired drivers and drug activity by calling the Patrol at #677.

Prepare for the Highest Thanksgiving Travel Volume in 12 Years

COLUMBUS, Ohio (November 16, 2017) – AAA predicts the highest Thanksgiving travel numbers since 2005, with 50.9 million Americans, including more than 2.1 million Ohioans, planning to travel at least 50 miles from home between Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 26. This is a 3.3 percent increase nationally (3.5 percent in Ohio) from last year.

“Thanksgiving kicks off the start of a busy holiday season, and more thankful Americans will travel to spend time with friends and family this year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing.

A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes, enabling a confident consumer to spend money on travel. This year’s Thanksgiving travel predictions are 35 percent higher than in 2008, during the recession.

Automobile Travel:

Higher gas prices won’t keep motorists off the roads this holiday. More than 89 percent of travelers will drive to their holiday destination. With 1.5 million more Americans on the road this year (61,000 more Ohioans) travelers should expect crowded roads, especially during peak travel times – late afternoon and early evening on Tuesday and Wednesday.

To accommodate the increased traffic volume, the Ohio Department of Transportation will be reducing the size and scope of active work zones as much as possible. Motorists should pay extra attention when driving through work zones and plan ahead for delays in those areas.

In addition, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to buckle up, never drive impaired and always follow traffic laws. Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, nine people died from crashes on Ohio’s roadways. Five of those fatalities were the result of an impaired driver and six were unbuckled. Troopers will have an increased presence on Ohio’s roadways to promote a safe Thanksgiving holiday.

Motorists should also take time to prepare their vehicles and plan ahead for holiday travel. AAA expects to rescue more than 330,000 motorists this Thanksgiving weekend for dead batteries, flat tires, lockouts and more.

Air Travel:

Just under 4 million travelers, including nearly 165,000 Ohioans, will fly this holiday. This marks an increase of 5 percent nationally and 6.1 percent in Ohio and is the sixth consecutive year of air travel growth.

Those flying will pay the lowest average airfare since 2013, according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index. A round-trip ticket on the top 40 domestic flight routes will cost an average of $157, which is 23 percent less than last year.

Hotel and Rental Car Rates:

Rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings will increase 14 percent to an average of $176 per night. Conversely, the average rate for AAA Two Diamond Rated hotels will decrease 5 percent to an average of $117 per night.

Car rental rates will rise 34 percent this Thanksgiving to their highest level since 2013, with the average daily car rental costing $70 per day. This increase may be attributed to a rise in domestic demand and cost of newer vehicles in the fleets with added features and benefits.

Traveling with Children:

Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for children. Proper use of child safety seats greatly reduces the likelihood that a child will be killed in a crash, but roughly three quarters of child safety seats are used incorrectly. That’s why it’s important for parents and caregivers to get their children’s car seats checked before the long holiday car ride. For a list of AAA stores that offer free car seat checks, visit AAA.com/ChildSafety.

When flying with children, AAA offers the following tips:

Know the TSA regulations regarding formula and juice, located at TSA.gov.

Know the seat requirements for toddlers: For most airlines, children 2 years and older are required to have their own seat. If bringing a car seat, check with the airline and make sure it’s approved for use on an aircraft.

Come prepared with the following: snacks, books or games, and changes of clothes.

Talk with your children before the trip to prepare them.

Holiday Forecast Methodology:

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS 2017 Thanksgiving Travel Forecast can be found on the AAA Newsroom.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at AAA.com.

PUCO encourages safe driving around motor carriers during the holidays

COLUMBUS, OH (Nov. 17, 2017) — During the holiday season, Ohio’s world-class transportation system will be heavily relied upon as travelers visit family and friends. Ohio ranks fifth as one of the most highly traveled states in the country.

As more motorists share the road with commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) offers these tips and a short video to help drivers understand and practice safe procedures around CMVs to ensure a safe and happy holiday travel season.

Stay visible. Large trucks have blind spots too. If you cannot see the truck driver or their mirrors, chances are he or she cannot see you either. Keep plenty of distance and try to stay off their passenger side.

Drive carefully. Drive carefully near large trucks. They do not have the same maneuverability as smaller vehicles. Ensure that you can see the roof of the truck in your rear view mirror before changing lanes in front of them.

Be alert. Remember—you can only control your own driving. Be aware of other drivers, especially large trucks, and expect the unexpected. If something feels wrong, back off.

Pay attention. Pay attention to weather and road conditions, and avoid the temptation to drive too fast, tailgate or change lanes improperly, especially around large trucks. And always remember, keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone or radio.

The PUCO is committed to improving road safety for Ohioans by ensuring the safe operation of CMVs in Ohio. Motor carrier companies that transport commerce and operate in Ohio must remain in compliance with all federal and state safety regulations that are administered by the PUCO, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The PUCO and the Ohio State Highway Patrol regularly perform thorough inspections of commercial vehicles and professional drivers to ensure Ohio’s highways remain safe for drivers.

For more information on motor carrier safety, contact the PUCO at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) or visit the motor carrier industry section of www.PUCO.ohio.gov.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.

CROWDED HIGHWAYS EXPECTED FOR THANKSGIVING TRAVEL

Drivers urged to plan ahead and be patient

COLUMBUS – Roads across Ohio will be crowded with extra travelers heading out for Thanksgiving. Traffic volumes increase by about 62 percent for the holiday, making it the busiest travel holiday of the year.

“We are urging holiday travelers to plan ahead and be prepared for heavy traffic, especially around our major cities,” said Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray.

ODOT is wrapping up another near-record construction season with around $2 billion invested into roads and bridges. This investment to improve the state’s transportation network also means a lot of orange barrels.

“Where we can, we open as many lanes as possible in active work zones. However, it is important for drivers to pay extra attention, obey all signs, and leave plenty of space between their vehicle and the one in front of them when driving through work zones,” said Wray.

Information about the location of work zones can be found on OHGO.com or the OHGO app. Users can also access more than 600 live traffic cameras, real-time highway speeds, and traffic alerts with OHGO.

ODOT will utilize more than 130 digital message boards along our highways and social media posts to remind travelers to buckle up.

“We work hard to make our roads safe, but we need everyone riding in a vehicle to do their part too. Wearing a seat belt is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself if you are involved in a crash,” said Wray.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, of the nine peopled killed during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2016, six were not wearing seat belts.

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Sunbury News Staff