Law enforcement, regional airport gear up for busy holiday weekend travel
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IDAHO FALLS -— Idaho State Police are sharing a message for one of the busiest travel days of the year: stay alert, drive sober, be patient and buckle up.
“We are out in full force trying to make sure the roadways are ready and that we are out there to help these people get from point a to point b. We get together with our local law enforcement agencies and partner together whether it’s trying to intercept our aggressive drivers or the DUI drivers that we see on these holiday weekends,” said Idaho State Police Cpt. Chris Weadick.
Troopers are reminding drivers to expect a lot of traffic over this Thanksgiving weekend as families travel to share the holiday with loved ones.
“We encourage the slowdown and move over law. It’s so important to get over in the other lane to travel when possible and slow down but if people are broken down on the highway or if it’s emergency vehicles or law enforcement vehicles out there, we just need room to be able to do our job,” Weadick said. “Unfortunately, we lose a lot of officers to crashes on the sides of the roadways when we are out on our traffic stops or if we are out trying to help the motoring public.”
In a press release from Idaho State Police, according to the AAA 2021 holiday travel report, 53.4 million Americans are predicted to be hitting the roads, rails, and air for Thanksgiving weekend, an increase of 13% from 2020.
Idaho Falls Regional Airport and the Transportation Security Administration are also expecting high holiday travel volumes.
“Travel at the holidays is always at a higher volume than we see normally,” said Rick Cloutier, Director of the Idaho Falls Regional Airport in a news release. “IDA is very well equipped to handle those increases, but it’s always wise to plan ahead and get here a little early so that you avoid long lines or unexpected problems.”
According to a recent press release from the TSA, the agency expects to see travel volumes at Thanksgiving close to pre-pandemic levels. They expect to screen approximately 20 million passengers over the next two weeks.
AAA suggests the best time to travel during the holiday week is before noon or after 9 p.m. on Wednesday; before 11 a.m. on Thursday and Friday; and before noon on Saturday and Sunday.