YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The last big holiday weekend of the summer is here, and that means extra traffic on the roads.
Nearly 35 million people are expected to travel this weekend, which means drivers are urged to be especially vigilant.
James Ashton knows what it’s like to travel; he’s a truck driver. However, on Friday he traded in his big rig for a coupe, driving from Indiana to Pennsylvania.
“It’s for my nephew’s birthday, I’m not too worried about holidays,” said Ashton.
His nephew’s birthday means he’s on the road just about every Labor Day, and that isn’t always pleasant.
“Lots of traffic, people stopping for no reason in the middle of the interstate,” Ashton said.
That’s why local police and the State Highway Patrol are going to be out in full force this weekend.
“As we speak, we actually have aircraft working Mahoning County now. Helping our troops run air speed and stopping cars here on the ground,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Canfield Post Commander, Lt. Nakia Hendrix.
Claire Nelson is headed for New York from Oregon. She’s seen the extra enforcement first hand.
“I was just like counting them from Ohio. There was just like 20 cars pulled over,” explained Nelson.
Her biggest concern on the 3,000 mile journey are the same menaces the OSP will be keeping a close eye for.
“Drunk drivers. We’ve had some pretty late nights. At least driving from Oregon to Salt Lake City. Got in at like 2 a.m. Started to get a little sketched out,” said Nelson.
Police are aware that drunk drivers are always a threat to safety.
“Sometimes they’re drinking and driving cause they want to party that one last time while the weather is decent,” said Hendrix. “We want everyone to make smart decisions. Buckle up. Don’t drink and drive. Obey the speed limit. Give yourself extra time.”
Hendrix added that he wants people to watch out for the trucks.
“If they cut you off in the wrong spot and it’s in a blind spot, accidents happen. A lot of accidents happen that way,” said Ashton.
Nelson offered an alternative perspective.
“Don’t complain because my road trip was definitely the worst out of everyones. Cross country,” concluded Nelson.