State police ramping up patrol for holiday weekend

Connecticut

(WTNH) — The AAA estimates more than 2 million New Englanders will be hitting the road for the holiday. That’s the most since 2005.

“We hope it’s a very quiet weekend, we hope it’s uneventful, but history, unfortunately, does tell us that will probably not be the case,” said State Police Sgt Robert Derry.

The busiest day will probably be Sunday when everyone tries to get home. If you commute to New York, the AAA says expect four times as many cars on the road Wednesday afternoon, and there’s really not much you can do about it.

“Pack your patience and understand that everyone is trying to get to granny’s for pumpkin pie because Thanksgiving. The very nature of it is one of family and friends so people will be on the road and you have to understand that,” Fran Mayko, AAA Spokeswoman.

Watch: Ride along with CT State Police

The AAA says the economy is doing well and gas prices are down 18 cents from this time last year. A lot of people think that makes it a good time for a road trip.

“As you know, with more people on the road, there’s more traffic congestion,” said Mayko. “With greater traffic congestion, it means greater potential for vehicle crashes.”

Related: Police enforcing national Click It or Ticket campaign

Last Thanksgiving, the state police responded to more than 400 crashes with two fatalities. To prevent a repeat of that, they increased patrols as of midnight.

“Additional troopers well and above our normal patrol force are going to be out there in traditional and non-traditional police cruisers.” Derry said.

Their focus will be on aggressive drivers, unsafe drivers and drunk drivers. They urge you to not add to the holiday traffic problems by following these simple rules:

  • Don’t follow the car in front of you too closely
  • Do follow the speed limit
  • Stay off your phone

“When other people are reckless and dangerous, be cautious, be conscious,” said State Sen. Tony Hwang (R-Fairfield). “Your first and foremost priority is to get to your destination safe.”

Wednesday is also one of the busiest nights of the year for bars. If you’re going to be drinking, have a designated driver or plan to call a taxi or ride share.

Many local departments are also increasing enforcement as part of the week-long Click It or Ticket crackdown, so make sure you and everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt.

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