Thanksgiving marks the start of travel season

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Many people travel during the holidays, especially through Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there are few things travellers may need to know this year.

With an increase in motorist, comes the potential for more accidents.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol, therefore, will take two extra measures to ensure the safety of drivers this year, according to MSHP press releases.

First, the MSHP will participate in Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort, or C.A.R.E. All available officers will be assigned to roadways in Missouri during the week of Thanksgiving.

The holiday weekend will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday and end at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

The troopers will be enforcing all traffic laws, but, particularly, those involving drunk driving, speeding and seat belt usage.

"I encourage everyone who is traveling this Thanksgiving holiday to make safety part of their plans," said Colonel James F. Keathley, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "I urge you to obey all traffic laws. Wear your seat belt, pay attention, obey the speed limit, and don't drink and drive."

Last year, 14 people died and 634 were injured in 1,736 traffic accidents in Missouri during Thanksgiving.

Second, MSHP Troop A will participate in a 10-mile trooper project. A trooper will be assigned to every 10-mile increment on Interstate 70 within Troop A.

The troop will do this twice during the week of Thanksgiving, once from 12 p.m. to midnight on Wednesday and again from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

For those driving to their destination, gas prices are higher this year than in 2008. The current average, according to the AAA Web site, is $2.64, which is $.62 higher than last Thanksgiving.

Missouri does, however, have one of the lowest averages at $2.47.

If traveling by plane or train it may be a little too late to find a good deal on tickets.

Travel agent Lavona Larimore said to find a deal on plane and train tickets they must be purchased early. She said as more tickets are purchased for a flight the remaining tickets become more expensive.

For those who already have tickets and are planning to fly, she suggests, being at the airport early. Over the holidays many people travel within the United States, so it can be difficult getting through the check in and security lines at the airport.

Larimore also said, it is a good idea to check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Web site before traveling.

There are many new regulations on what types of items can be in a carry-on bag. She said do not wear a lot metal or shoes that are difficult to remove as everyone must go through a metal detector and security checks at the airport.

Contact Nathan St.Clair at

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