Local PDs brace for holiday traffic

Published 2:02 am Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Thanksgiving period of travel is defined as Wed., Nov. 22, to Sun., Nov. 26, but with schools out, many will take to the highways this weekend, crowding highways and making travel more dangerous.

The three days leading up to Thanksgiving are the most dangerous to travel, with Thanksgiving being the least dangerous.

“We have extra patrols out for the holiday traffic,” Sonny Bedsole, police chief of Florala said, “We try to make sure traffic will move safely, with no excessive speeding. We had the two traffic lights taken out from downtown, and traffic is much smoother,”

Alabama’s Thanksgiving week traffic in 2016 caused 22 fatalities, increasing the state’s traffic crashes by 27 percent.

The American Automobile Association projects that 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from their homes this Thanksgiving.

AAA reported the increase of traffic is caused by the major improvements in the economy.

“We’ll have more patrols, and place them in areas known for speeding. Especially near the bypass where people will be coming through,” Kevin Chance, Opp assistant police chief said, “We also like to keep on eye on neighborhoods, watching for people’s houses who have traveled for the holiday,”

The AAA also expects there to be 330,000 motorists this Thanksgiving stranded, with lockouts, flat tires and battery related issues.

“We will continue our regular patrols as we do daily,” Andalusia Police Department Assistant Police Chief Paul Dean said, “We’re prepared,”