Opinion

Stay safe on holiday highways

This editorial appeared in The Fayetteville Observer

We knew a holiday weekend was coming when a couple of local gas stations bumped up their prices by 10 to 15 cents a gallon. They're ready to make hay on our weekend wanderlust.

But no matter what happens with gas prices, we'll be traveling, perhaps in record numbers. AAA Carolinas predicts that more than 1.2 million North Carolinians will travel 50 miles or more away from home over the Memorial Day weekend. That would be the biggest Memorial Day traffic volume since 2005, up nearly 3 percent from last year. The average price for gasoline (before holiday gouging) across the state is $2.20 a gallon, about a penny a gallon cheaper than last year.

Heavy traffic means careful driving is in order. Be assured that every police department and the Highway Patrol will have extra patrols out on the roads throughout the weekend. They'll be looking for speeders and even more attentive to those who might be driving after drinking. If you're planning on having a few beers with that picnic, make sure you ditch the keys, or hand them to someone who's sticking with soda.

And that applies to boaters, too. Driving a boat under the influence of alcohol is a crime. And especially on larger lakes and other bodies of water, law enforcement patrols will be out there.

Give yourself plenty of time to get where you're going, and don't get all riled up about the traffic. Everyone's just trying to have a pleasant holiday. Stay cool – you'll get there.

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