TRI-STATE (WFIE) - This is the first year in more than two decades that AAA isn’t coming out with a travel forecast due to COVID-19.
Many are ready to get out of their homes and onto the roadways. According to AAA, last year’s Memorial Day was the second-highest travel weekend on record. This year, tourism officials expect fewer travelers because of the coronavirus pandemic, and authorities say that’s a good thing.
“It’s been very quiet on the highways," Sgt. Todd Ringle, a spokesperson for Indiana State Police said. "Matter of fact, so far this year, we have seen nearly 22,000 fewer crashes, 31 fewer fatalities, and again that’s because a lot of people were staying home.”
Nevertheless, authorities are ready for the most travelers they’ve seen in months, especially after Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear just lifted the statewide travel ban heading into the holiday weekend.
“We’re looking for DUI’s, distracted drivers, anyone that may put other motorists in danger," Trooper Rob Austin, a spokesperson with Kentucky State Police said. "We’re going to be going hard all weekend, and Memorial Day as well.”
Meanwhile, road construction is continuing through the holiday weekend and Indiana Department of Transportation officials tell 14 News they’ve noticed some good come from fewer people on the roadways.
“Having less traffic on the roads, I will say has made work zones feel a little bit safer, because you know we don’t have as many cars weaving through work zones," Jason Tiller, an INDOT spokesperson said. "There’s not as much opportunity for things to go catastrophically wrong, so that’s definitely been something that has been a good thing in disguise for our crews.”