Wednesday, December 22, 2010

T-DOT Trying To Help Holiday Travellers

Cookeville area residents who are planning a holiday trip this year should enjoy a smooth drive through Tennessee. The state Department of Transportation is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state.  No temporary lane closures will be allowed for construction on Tennessee roadways from 8:00 a.m. on Friday, December 24 through 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 3.

"This is one of the busiest travel periods of the entire year and we know many Tennesseans will be hitting the roads to visit family and friends during the holidays," said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "We want to ensure that motorists traveling in Tennessee arrive at their destinations safely and with as little disruption as possible."

Except for a few long-term closures which must remain in place for safety, all construction related closures will be suspended. Workers will also be on site in some construction zones. Drivers should obey all posted speed limits, particularly in construction areas. Slower speeds are necessary in work zones due to the temporary layout of the roadway and will be enforced. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.

"Drivers can expect to see increased law enforcement on the roads throughout the holiday with a particular focus on stopping drivers who are impaired," said Governor's Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole. "We want everyone to have a safe holiday so remember to buckle up, drive the speed limit and don't get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you've had anything to drink."

AAA predicts holiday travel will increase nearly 4% in Tennessee this year, with more than 2 million expected to travel by automobile in the volunteer state between the Christmas and New Year's holidays. For up-to-date travel information, motorists may call 511 from any land line or cellular phone or visit http://www.tn511.com/. TDOT is also on Twitter. For statewide travel tweets follow www.twitter.com/TN511. Motorists are reminded to use all motorist information tools responsibly. Drivers should refrain from texting, tweeting or using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle. Drivers should "Know before you go!" and check traffic conditions before leaving for your destination.