Labor Day travel numbers expected to be high

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – If you take a trip this Labor Day weekend, you’ll join 55% of Americans hitting the road to enjoy the final weekend of summer.

AAA says gas is cheaper than last year and gas prices are a big factor when people are deciding on plans. Orbitz says most people are headed to a big city. Chicago is predicted to be the third most popular destination this weekend.

If you’re driving, be aware the Indiana State Police are doing the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. More than 250  local and state law enforcement agencies are doing sobriety patrols and checkpoints around the clock.

“People don’t want to be on our nation’s highways or Indiana highways with an impaired or dangerous driver,” said Indiana State Police Sgt. Rich Myers. “So they are behind, I believe 100%, to get that impaired, dangerous driver off the roadway so that their family is not in danger.”

Sgt. Myers says the campaign has been in effect for several years and it’s working. In 2015, there were 4,828 alcohol-impaired collisions in Indiana, killing 92 people. This is a 26.5% decrease in the number of alcohol-impaired collisions, and a 9% decrease in fatalities, from 2014.

“What we look for is primarily the impaired intoxicated driver, the road rage incident driver and people who are not paying attention to work zones,” said Sgt. Myers. “We are going to have extra troopers, extra county, extra city police officers out and they’re going to be in our traditional marked vehicles, our unmarked vehicles and our unmarked trucks in work zones.”

Sgt. Myers has advice beyond impaired and distracted driving for holiday travelers.

“No matter whether you’re going cross country across the state of Indiana or across town to get that jug of milk, buckling up is the number one safest thing that you can do to ensure your safety and your family’s safety whenever you are traveling.”

“Make sure you are paying attention to the signs that are on the highway so if you do come across an emergency or you have an emergency yourself, you know what mile marker you are at. You get a lot of calls to 911 that have witnessed a crash, that have broken down on the highway, and they’re not familiar with where they’re at on the highway.”

Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over has been in effect since August 12 and ends Monday.

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