Hol­i­day trav­el­ers ben­e­fit from lower gas prices




— For those trav­el­ing through Mary­land this La­bor Day week­end, take note of the po­ten­tially tem­per­a­men­tal weather, low gas prices and height­ened po­lice pa­trols.

Satur­day is ex­pected to be in the mid-70s, partly cloudy and run a 40 per­cent chance of show­ers, said Al Cope, me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Mt. Holly, N.J. He said Sun­day will have a high in the up­per-60s, with a 60 per­cent chance of rain.

Hur­ri­cane Her­mine is ex­pected to hit the county on Satur­day night into early Sun­day, with the po­ten­tial for heavy rain and trop­i­cal winds. He said there is a pos­si­bil­ity of lo­cal flood­ing with the storm.

“I’d say winds gust­ing up to 40 to 45 miles per hour,” Cope said.

On the pos­i­tive side, peo­ple can look for­ward to lower gas prices for the hol­i­day, at least com­pared to last year.

The United States av­er­age this La­bor Day is ex­pected to sit at $2.19 per gal­lon, which is more than 20 cents lower than the cost in 2015 ($2.40), ac­cord­ing to GasBuddy. The na­tional sum­mer av­er­age is $2.24, also a de­cline from 2015, when that num­ber stood at $2.70.

Ac­cord­ing to a AAA press re­lease, gas prices for Me­mo­rial Day and the Fourth of July were the low­est since 2005, and that dip has contributed to 55 per­cent of Amer­i­cans say­ing they’d be more likely to take a road trip this year.

“And, if the other sum­mer hol­i­days are any in­di­ca­tion, many will be get­ting away over the last long week­end of sum­mer,” AAA spokesper­son Rag­ina Cooper Avarella said in a pre­pared state­ment.

For those plan­ning to travel the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Bridge this week­end, the Mary­land Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion of­fi­cials ad­vise go­ing be­fore 10 a.m. and af­ter 9 p.m. on Fri­day, and be­fore 7 a.m. and af­ter 6 p.m. on Satur­day. On Sun­day and Mon­day, trav­el­ers are ad­vised to hit the bridge be­fore 10 a.m. and af­ter mid­night.

That’s all be­cause MDTA of­fi­cials ex­pect more than 353,000 to cross the bridge this week­end, and more than 1.8 mil­lion mo­torists to travel its toll fa­cil­i­ties al­to­gether.

For those who plan to cel­e­brate the hol­i­day week­end with a bit of al­co­hol-in­fused fun, Mary­land State Po­lice are tak­ing ex­tra pre­cau­tions to keep trav­el­ers and the roads safe.

Po­lice are an­tic­i­pat­ing an in­creased vol­ume of traf­fic and are ad­vis­ing driv­ers to ex­pect height­ened en­force­ment of speed lim­its, seat­belt use and drunk driv­ing laws La­bor Day week­end, ac­cord­ing to an MSP press re­lease.

The State Po­lice Impaired Driv­ing Re­duc­tion Ef­fort team and troop­ers are slated to be out fo­cus­ing on impaired, dis­tracted and ag­gres­sive driv­ers to help re­duce traf­fic in­ci­dents and those that end in in­juries and deaths, po­lice of­fi­cials stated.

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” a high vis­i­bil­ity en­force­ment cam­paign that runs from Aug. 19 to Sept. 15, will join state and lo­cal po­lice to work to­gether in keep­ing peo­ple safe, of­fi­cials said.

Op­er­a­tion SHOWBOAT, which fo­cuses on ag­gres­sive driv­ing, crash re­duc­tion and impaired driv­ing, will con­cen­trate on U.S. Route 50 from Anne Arun­del County to Ocean City and Route 13 in Wi­comico, Som­er­set and Worces­ter coun­ties, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. State po­lice will also con­duct so­bri­ety check­points and in­creased pa­trols, the re­lease stated.

As part of state trooper sup­port for the Mary­land Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion’s “To­ward Zero Deaths” cam­paign, mo­torists are ad­vised to be aware of the dan­gers of al­co­hol, as it tends to re­duce one’s con­trol, judge­ment and co­or­di­na­tion, as well as speech and re­flexes, of­fi­cials stated.

Drunken driv­ers caught by po­lice can face a num­ber of con­se­quences, in­clud­ing jail time, loss of driver’s li­cense, in­creased in­sur­ance rates and ex­penses such as those for at­tor­ney fees, court costs and car towing and re­pairs, among oth­ers. In a worst-case sce­nario, the impaired driver could kill them­selves or some­one else, the re­lease noted.

In ad­di­tion to state and lo­cal po­lice pa­trolling, ad­di­tional MDTA po­lice will be on the look­out for impaired driv­ers at toll fa­cil­i­ties dur­ing the week­end, ac­cord­ing to Mary­land Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion of­fi­cials.


Law en­force­ment and trans­porta­tion de­part­ments an­tic­i­pate an in­creased vol­ume of traf­fic this La­bor Day week­end.

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