Traffic blitz set for holiday season

Published 12:41 am Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More than 33 million people are expected to be on the roadways during this Thanksgiving holiday, according to a report from the AAA Auto Club. And locally, law enforcement will be doing their part to make sure any of those 33 million motorists traveling through Covington County are obeying the traffic laws.

Chief Deputy David Anderson said Sheriff’s Office deputies will once again be participating in a holiday traffic blitz, targeting impaired drivers.

“We say the same thing each holiday season — we want motorists to arrive safely to their holiday destination,” Anderson said. “And our deputies will be doing their part to monitor the roadways to ensure that happens.”

The initiative, which is funded by the Alabama Department of Community and Economic Affairs, will end Tues., Nov. 31.

“We’ve got four major arteries that come through Covington County — Alabama 55, U.S. Hwy. 84 and 331 and Alabama 29 — each major connector routes between large cities and the coast line,” he said. “We will be on the lookout for speeders and impaired drivers along those areas, as well as the county roads, during this overtime detail.”

AAA’s report, which was released Wednesday, surveyed 1,350 households and said there will be about 33.2 million people traveling by car this year — a 2.1 percent increase from last year.

But there will be a 6.7 percent decrease in the number of air travelers, totaling 2.3 million this year and continuing a decade-long decline of Thanksgiving air travel.

AAA officials said the expected increase reflects improved consumer confidence from a year ago, when Thanksgiving travel dropped 25 percent.