Officials stress holiday travel safety


State transportation officials urge caution while traveling this holiday weekend.


Staff Writer

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Local and state officials are urging safety this Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest travel times of the year.

“Know your travel route. Make sure there's no delays, leave early and give yourself plenty of time,” said Sgt. Brad Summerlin of the Rocky Mount Police Department.

To make holiday travel as safe as possible, the state Department of Transportation is suspending most road construction activities that require lane closures on interstate, U.S. and N.C. routes from early Friday morning through Tuesday evening with actual times depending on the projects, said state transportation spokesman Steve Abbott.

“Lane closures will remain in place for safety reasons in some locations where conditions do not allow for lanes or roads to be re-opened, such as many bridge replacement projects or where there is no pavement or shoulder,” Abbott said. “In addition, work that does not interfere with the travel lanes can still take place over the extended weekend.”

Travelers can check ahead on the status of the routes they plan to use by going to DriveNC.gov, where conditions can be checked by route number, county or region.

Abbott provided a few safety tips for navigating the highways during the holiday weekend:

■ Buckle up — every seat, every time. The Governor’s Highway Safety Program and the Highway Patrol will be conducting the annual Click It or Ticket campaign, enforcing passenger safety laws.

■ Stay alert when going through work zones, as even if work is suspended, you may encounter narrowed lanes and traffic shifts.

■ Be patient and obey the posted speed limit.

■ Avoid distracted driving.

■ Don’t tailgate. Give yourself space in case traffic in front of you suddenly stops or slows down.

■ Travel at non-peak hours when possible and leave early to allow extra time to reach your destination.

■ Consider using alternate routes to avoid usual traffic congestion locations such as near a major city.

■ Obey the “Move Over Law” — which requires motorists to move over one lane, if possible, or reduce speed when emergency and construction vehicles with flashing lights are on the shoulder of the highway.

Summerlin added it's very important folks don't post their travel plans on social media before their trip, because thieves are always looking for targets.