Heavy Memorial Day traffic expected

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 28, 2021

COLUMBUS – With pandemic restrictions lifting and double the traffic expected on the road this Memorial Day weekend, drivers should remain careful as law enforcement officers will be out in force in an effort to prevent accidents and crash deaths.

AAA expects a significant rebound in travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend from 2020, with nearly 1.7 million Ohioans planning to travel at least 50 miles from home between May 17–May 31. That’s 57 percent higher than last year’s record low numbers.

More than 95 percent of Ohio travelers will drive to their destinations this year – a 52 percent jump in road trips from last Memorial Day.

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Traffic in and around Ironton is expected to be up with the public being allowed to view the 153rd Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade this year. Last year, due to the pandemic, the size of the parade was cut down to a few blocks and the public was discouraged as the parade committee wanted to continue the century and a half tradition but didn’t want to be the epicenter of a COVID-19 outbreak.

As many prepare for their first road trip in over a year, AAA encourages motorists to ensure their cars are road trip ready, so they don’t become one of the 468,000 drivers that will call AAA for roadside assistance this holiday weekend.

With the increase in travel on Ohio roads, ODOT will work to reduce the size of work zones and remove as many lane closures as possible for the upcoming holiday weekend. However, we still need drivers to pay extra attention while driving through work zones. Plan ahead by using OHGO.com to see real-time traffic conditions, more than 800 live traffic cameras, and construction project locations.

As part of the Click it or Ticket campaign and the 6-State Trooper Project, safety belt usage will be a primary focus of the Ohio State Highway Patrol during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Last year in Ohio, 20 people were killed in fatal crashes over the holiday weekend.

Of those fatalities in which a safety belt was available, 50 percent were unbelted. Additionally, the Patrol will be focusing on impaired driving.

During last year’s holiday weekend, 10 of the 20 fatal crashes involved impairment.

Over the course of the weekend, troopers will be highly visible on Ohio’s roadways encouraging drivers to wear their safety belts and to drive sober.