Arkansas State Police gear up for busy travel season

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – AAA expects 85.8 million Americans to travel by automobile this holiday season.

Monday marked one of the busiest days of travel: two days before Christmas.

"I don't like traveling for the holidays. No, it's too big of a hassle. You're in too big of a rush to do things," Bono resident Charles Jaco said. 

Jaco traveled to Vallonia last weekend to see family, but said the travel part was not fun. 

"With the high water, we had to go around to Cash and, luckily, it wasn't under water at the time," Jaco said. 

Holiday travel brings back bad childhood memories for another Region 8 resident. 

"It wasn't fun at all, having to drive on Christmas morning all the way, three hours away to get presents. No, wasn't fun," Paragould resident Stephanie Easley said. 

Her family is now just minutes away. 

"It's maybe ten minutes between my husband's and my family's houses so there's no travel," Easley said. 

But for those who are traveling long distances to see friends and family, Arkansas State Police is warning drivers about the roads. 

"With the increase in traffic comes an increase in traffic accidents," Corporal Joe Williams said. 

Williams said the department will have more troopers on the roads to combat this. 

"Our holiday enforcement period begins tomorrow night, Christmas Eve night, at 6 p.m. and runs through Christmas night at midnight," Williams said. "We'll have more troopers out to ensure the safety of our mobile public."

Williams also offered some reminders for travelers.

"Not just during this time, but at all times, wear your seat belts and don't drink and drive because there's so much traffic on the highway. Slow down and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination during this holiday period," Williams said. 

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