Don't be a turkey: new speed limits may trick you on busy traffic day

By Matt McCutcheon - e-mail | bio

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest traffic times of the year according to AAA and 2010 will be no different.  Historically, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year.

As is the case every year, auto travel will be the dominant means Americans use to get to their holiday destinations this year; however, more people are expected on the roads this year.

AAA's research finds that Thanksgiving holiday travel, which runs from Wednesday-Sunday, November 24-28, will be up a whopping 12% this year.  Air travel is also expected to fare well, at an increase of more than 3% compared to 2009's numbers.

Researchers say this increase is largely due to economic recovery in certain areas, which allows people to have more cash to devote to travel.

The average American will travel about 50 miles, the report says.

While the Louisville area hasn't seen much snow so far, some destination areas have been pounded with a Winter Blast of snow, so AAA and LMPD suggest you plan ahead for inclement weather just in case.

Something new in 2010 for holiday travel to watch out for is speed limits.  Some parts have had speed limits reduced over just the past few months, by as much as 15 miles per hour.

"When you're traveling, often times you'll be traveling through different jurisdictions and different cities or states and the speed limits do change from different areas," said Senior Trooper Michael Webb with the Kentucky State Police post.

In Jefferson County, it has recently changed to 65 MPH from in part of the interstate around the county line to part of Fern Valley Road.

LMPD says it will have dozens of additional officers out over the holiday period, watching for impaired and aggressive driving.

Wednesday night has also been dubbed as one of the most popular nights to go out on the town, since many young people will be home from college.  Police will be working late hours to make sure everyone gets home safely.

Knowing what to do if your car breaks down or other reasons - like weather - cause you to be stranded, especially during busy roads.  That was the case earlier this year, when a stranded driver was struck and killed along the interstate when he left to get help.

"If you put your hood up on your vehicle and put your flashers on – something to indicate you are having vehicle trouble, a law enforcement officer will stop to assist you.  You can call 911 even for something as a stranded vehicle," Senior Trooper Webb said.

WAVE 3 is Working For You on-air and online to keep you and your family safe.  Wednesday night from 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM, join us for our LIVE call-in show and weather and traffic special reports.  We also have several resources for you here online on as well:

Click here for WAVE 3's On-Time Traffic Guide, where you can find detailed traffic information including dozens of traffic cameras, incident reports, construction delays and a snapshot of traffic flow as well as estimated speed and drive times. You can even plot your most-used routes and sign up to receive an email alerting you of traffic delays.

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