Expect to see more Virginia state troopers on the road this Thanksgiving travel week.
Virginia State Police will step up enforcement from 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 22, through midnight, Sunday, November 26.
“Virginia State Police, like your families, wants you to safely arrive at your holiday destination. This can only happen if drivers do what they can to make our highways as safe as possible — ditching distractions, complying with posted speed limits and wearing a seat belt,” said VSP Superintendent Col. Gary T. Settle.
During Operation C.A.R.E – Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort, troopers will look for speeders, reckless drivers, and those under the influence of drug or alcohol. Last year, 19 people died on Virginia roads during the five-day holiday period, and in 2021, five died.
In 2022, troopers cited 4,407 speeders and 1,803 reckless drivers statewide. Ninety drivers got busted for being under the influence and 454 were cited for seat belt violations. The C.A.R.E. initiative coincides with the annual Click It or Ticket campaign and a Mothers Against Drunk Driving effort to prevent holiday drunk driving.
It’s expected that 1.43 million Virginians will travel this Thanksgiving holiday with, with 1.3 million going by car. From the DC metro area, it’s estimated that 1.3 million will travel 50 miles or more for their Thanksgiving celebration.
Work Zones Lifted
The Virginia Department of Transportation plans to suspect many of its work zones and lift most lane closures beginning at noon on Wednesday, November 22, until noon on Monday, November 27, a news release said.
VDOT expects heavy traffic on Tuesday from mid-morning until the evening. Of course, you probably know that the roads will be most congested between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday, according to AAA. From noon to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving also will be busy.
VDOT has an interactive travel trends map that shows when peak congestion is expected. And in NoVA, VDOT said all rush-hour tolls on the I-66 Express Lanes inside the Capital Beltway will be lifted on Thanksgiving Day.
Plan for the Weather
For those leaving Tuesday, you’ll encounter rain all day. The forecast calls for periods of heavy rain with winds increasing late in the day. NoVA could see 1 to 2 inches of rain, with temperatures in the 40s and 50s. NBC4 Washington forecasts a 100 percent chance of rain.
Rain. A LOT of rain is coming tomorrow. The rain will begin around sunrise Tuesday and be at its steadiest and heaviest in the late afternoon and evening. Rain should be over by daybreak Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/LAjqprjVWc— Chuck Bell (@ChuckBell4) November 20, 2023
The rain moves out Wednesday early morning, but gusty winds will be around through the afternoon. Temperatures will be in the 50s.
On Thanksgiving, look for sunny skies and temperatures in the low 50s.
Feature image courtesy Virginia Department of Transportation
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