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Local News

Illinois State Police warn drivers to be cautious as U.S. sees highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005

National gas price average drops, but Illinois drivers paying 50 cents more than 2016

AP photo
With luggage in hand, travelers make their way toward Terminal A at O'Hare International Airport on Nov. 23, 2011, in Chicago. Thursday marks the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the busiest travel days of the year.
AP photo With luggage in hand, travelers make their way toward Terminal A at O'Hare International Airport on Nov. 23, 2011, in Chicago. Thursday marks the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Millions of motorists will take to Illinois roads over the Thanksgiving weekend, and the Illinois State Police want to ensure safe travels.

AAA projected the U.S. will experience its highest Thanksgiving travel push in 12 years.

“50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year,” another AAA release stated.

Five to 6 p.m. Tuesday is the worst time to travel in Chicago, according to AAA, especially on Interstate 90 West at Interstate 190.

“A strong economy and labor market are generating rising incomes and higher consumer confidence, fueling a strong year for the travel industry, which will continue into the holiday season,” Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing, said in a statement.

Police advised that drivers keep their eyes on the road, watch their speed, buckle seat belts and refrain from drinking and driving in a news release.

ISP District 5 Cmdr. Capt. Darryl Bogard called speeding, seat belts, distracting driving and driving under the influence the “Fatal Four” violations in a statement.

Troopers also will do their part by being on the watch for drivers exceeding speed limits and those who choose to drive distracted. Additional patrols will be employed to help remove intoxicated drivers from the roads, as well.

“Remember, buzzed driving is drunken driving,” the release stated.

ISP is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation and other law enforcement agencies to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket. The Click It or Ticket campaign officially started Friday. The goal of this high-visibility effort is to reduce motor vehicle crashes and resulting injuries and fatalities. Stepped-up patrols and seat belt enforcement zones will be seen throughout the state through next Monday.

“Seat belt use is even more important for children. They can sustain serious injuries in a crash,” ISP District 2 Cmdr. Michael J. Kraft said in a statement. “Help them buckle up and make sure your child restraint systems are properly secured in your vehicle.”

Gas prices declined nationwide as of Monday, according to a news release from AAA, but Illinois drivers are seeing a 50-cent increase at the pump from this time last year. The national average was $2.54, and the Illinois average was $2.70 on Monday.

A spill in the Keystone pipeline, which carries crude oil to refineries in the Midwest, will continue to affect prices as long as the pipeline is shut down.

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