Travel, Driving Enforcement Both Up For Holiday
This holiday season, more drivers will be headed over the river, through the woods to Grandmother’s house and many other destinations than last year according to a report by AAA.
Christmas holiday traffic will be up just a smidgen this year, at least according to AAA Chicago.
The group estimates 4.25 million Illinois drivers will be on the road for the 11 day holiday stretch between December 23rd and January 2nd this year–only a .5% increase from 2010.
In Indiana, there will be 1.79 million people traveling by car this year, a .4 percent increase from 2010.
While nationally, AAA believes 91.9 million people or 30% of the population will be traveling to a destination more than 50 miles from home for the holiday, a 1.4% increase over last year.
Travel by car is up 2.1%, while air travel should be down 10% according to AAA.
“It’s a positive sign for the travel industry that so many Americans are planning to travel this holiday season, collectively contributing to the second-highest year-end holiday travel volume in the past ten years,” said Brad Roeber, Regional President, AAA Chicago. “As our lives get busier, it is so important to create opportunities for the rest and rejuvenation that result from vacation travel and connecting with family and friends, especially during the holidays.”
Travel by reindeer propelled flying sleigh remain steady, but use is confined to a tiny minority of the population for the Christmas holiday.
IDOT Suspends Road Work The Next Two Weekends
In order to ease congestion and increase traffic flow with the increased holiday traffic volume, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced it will be halting all road work on Friday, December 23rd starting at 3 PM.
While work will resume on Monday, December 26th, road construction work will be put on hold again beginning Friday, December 30th at 3 PM for the New Year’s holiday weekend.
“With heavy traffic expected during the upcoming holiday weekends, IDOT is providing a list of lane closures in advance to help motorists plan their trips,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “With less construction activity these weekends, traffic congestion can be reduced, and safety and traffic flow will improve.”
IDOT warns holiday travelers that work zone speed limits are still in effect wherever they are posted, even where no construction workers are present. Drivers caught speeding in work zones could be subject to a ticket and a fine.
State Announces Safety, DUI Enforcement Push For Holidays
Illinois State Police and IDOT announced Thursday a wide range of enforcement initiatives over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
State officials are advising motorists to buckle up and refrain from driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs over the next two weeks.
According to IDOT spokesperson Josh Kaufman, from now through New Year’s weekend, more than 200 local police and sheriff departments will team up with the Illinois State Police in conducting 400 safety belt enforcement zones (with half during late-night hours), nearly 100 roadside safety checks, and hundreds of additional impaired driving and nighttime safety belt patrols.
“Illinois State Police will continue to keep the roads safe during the holiday period,” said Illinois State Police Deputy Director of Operations Colonel Mark Piccoli.”Officers will enforce the law and will implement several enforcement details, including roadside safety checks, saturation patrols, seat belt enforcement and other directed patrols.”