Holiday Travel Safe but Busy

by Emily Baird on November 29, 2009 at 11:56 am

The Thanksgiving holiday travel weekend is wrapping up.

AAA estimates that close to 38 million people will have traveled across the US to spend time with family and friends, which is higher than last year’s total.

WHIZ’s Emily Baird rode with an Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper to see how his post was making that trip safer for you this year.

The Zanesville Post has been monitoring travelers closely during the holiday weekend.

"Travel has been very busy, the interstate especially. All the commuters going to and from their destinations, but yeah, travel has been very thick, " says Sergeant Jeremy Mendenhall.

That thick traffic can sometimes interfere with law enforcement.

"The traffic gets so heavy sometimes. If you’re sitting in the median or in the cross-over, it’s difficult to get out to pursue after a vehicle because it’s bumper to bumper, " says Mendenhall.

Yet, the Zanesville Post is still maintaining high visibility on the roadways, and it’s been zoning in on a few key violations.

"Just aggressive driving, improper lane changes, seat belts, of course, " says Trooper Trenas Weaver.

The Zanesville Post has made about 200 contacts with the public, starting Wednesday night. Most of those have dealt with speed.

"The reason I stopped you today is because of your speed, Sir. Are you aware of how fast you were traveling? OK, I checked speed at 79 mph, " says Weaver.

Even though drivers were aware that more cruisers were on the roadways this weekend, some still wanted to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

"I’ve been doing this job for several years. You get to the point, it’s almost like you think you’ve heard it all, and then somebody’s come up with another excuse. You’re like I haven’t heard that before, " says Mendenhall.

Mendenhall says troopers don’t want to be the bad guys. They just want to enforce the traffic laws.

"If it takes a citation to influence someone’s driving habits, then that’s what we’ll do. We’re not in the business of putting people out of business. We’re in the business of safety and saving lives, " says Mendenhall.

"OK, just slow down with your speed, and you guys have a safe trip, " says Weaver.

I’m Emily Baird for WHIZ News.

No serious injury accidents were reported locally this holiday weekend.