Highway Patrol cautions drivers this Labor Day | News, Sports, Jobs

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Ohio State Highway Patrol is preparing for the last holiday weekend of the summer, and troopers expect heavy traffic and its associated risks during this Labor Day weekend.

“Nice weather is predicted for the weekend, so we should see an increased amount of traffic due to the holiday,” Sgt. Joe Weaver said, adding that all of the summer holidays Labor Day is the busiest one for law enforcement. The holiday weekend officially begins today, from the troopers’ perspective.

“We’ll have all available troopers working. We also have troopers working overtime, looking for impaired drivers, distracted drivers, people not wearing their safety belts and, of course, speed, because speed’s our No. 1 crash-causing violation.”

Along with other forms of impairment, he pointed out that distracting habits such as texting and driving are hazardous on busy roadways.

“This is considered the third of the big three summer holidays, and troopers will be out in full force trying to keep the roadways safe,” he said. “With the increased traffic flow due to the holiday, people being off and celebrating, we’re expecting an increased traffic flow.”

He also advised caution when passing troopers stopped on the berm. Other reminders include yielding to all flashing lights. He also pointed out the ongoing construction projects on Interstate 70 and Ohio 331, where construction zones have reduced speed limits and travel lanes are narrow.

“We still have construction zones with workers present,” he said. “They’re all active over this holiday weekend.”

He cited the beginning of the weekend as the most active period for traffic.

“We see our highest volumes of traffic on Thursday and Friday, then it seems like it filters down the remainder of the weekend,” he said.

Weaver said the highway patrol also warns drivers to watch for motorcycles.

“We’ll also be focusing our efforts on motorcycles,” he said.

“Summertime, with the warm weather, you see an increased number of motorcycles, and with Labor Day still being considered a summer holiday, we’ll see increased motorcycle traffic on all the roadways in the state.”

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