Memorial Day Travel: Authorities Encourage Highway Safety

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- More than 1 million Ohioans are expected to travel over Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA.

That means you'll be sharing the crowded roadways with plenty of law enforcement who will be making sure you arrive at your destination safely.

“It’s always heavy on a weekend but it’s really heavy this weekend,” said Craig Swarts, of Columbus.

If you’re one of those hitting the highways this weekend, be on high alert.

“I drove 70 all the way because there was like a cop every few miles and they were outside the car with the, you know, a lot of people stopped,” said Calvin Moore, of Cleveland.

“I mean you can see the officers out there in the cars, it makes you want to slow down if you’re speeding,” said Calvin Royal, of Columbus.

With increased traffic, the Ohio State Highway Patrol has increased the number of troopers on the highways.

“We’re looking primarily for crash causing violations, high speeds and seat belts,” said Lt. Bill Haymaker, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

May 19 through June 1 is the states ‘Click it or Ticket’ campaign. State troopers urge drivers to always buckle up whenever traveling in a vehicle, not just this weekend.

“It’s really the easiest thing that you can do to keep your family safe in a motor vehicle is to buckle up,” Haymaker said.

Memorial Day weekend can turn tragic in a hurry. State troopers say they see an increase in alcohol related crashes during the holiday weekend.

“If you’re going to be drinking, designate a driver, make sure you don’t get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle,” said Haymaker.

Besides looking for drivers under the influence, the State Highway Patrol is also stepping up patrol for those texting and driving.

“That is very dangerous, that’s just as dangerous as driving and drinking, because you have to be alert and you have to be aware of your surroundings,” said Carla Royal. “All it takes is one second, a fraction of a second and it can be a disaster out there.”

State troopers remind you to stay aware and make an extra effort for those on motorcycles.

Also, it is a state law that you must slow down and move over for emergency vehicles with flashing lights on.

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