CT State Police, AAA encourage safe driving this weekend - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT State Police, AAA encourage safe driving this weekend

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AAA crews gave out  free battery and tire testing. (WFSB) AAA crews gave out free battery and tire testing. (WFSB)

The holiday weekend means millions of people all across New England will be hitting the road for the Fourth of July.

Eyewitness News spoke with AAA and Connecticut State Police on Friday to find out what drivers need to know ahead of Independence Day.

Marilyn Lund stopped in Connecticut to take a quick break during her more than 500-mile drive to Canada.

Eyewitness News caught up with Lund at a rest stop in Middletown where state police and AAA were giving out free cups of coffee and donuts, as well as doing free battery and tire testing.

It's all in an effort to make sure holiday travelers get off to a safe start.  

"We were taking advantage of it,” Marilyn Lund from Queens, New York said.

AAA said millions of people will be hitting the road this year to enjoy the long Fourth of July weekend. If you're heading out on Friday, you'll have plenty of company.

"This is going to be the busiest travel day because the majority of people will be heading out of town today,” Amy Parmenter, who is the Spokesperson for AAA Greater Hartford, said. “We're thinking the traffic will be a little spread out on the return."

AAA said gasoline prices heading into the Fourth of July weekend are lower than they were for last Christmas. Prices, typically ramp up with demand and yet, have remained low because of a strong fuel supply. In fact, gas is the least expensive it has been all year.

On the other side, there's the packed expressways, local roads, and interstate highways.

"Just plan to be delayed so if you need to have extra snacks, water, in the car, if you do get tied up it's just a minor problem, not a major catastrophe,” Parmenter said. 

If you're like Lund and you'll be passing through the state, don't be surprised if you see extra state police troopers, patrolling the highways.

"This holiday weekend, we do have increased enforcement on the highways,” Connecticut State Police Trooper Kelly Grant said. “You'll be seeing additional troopers out there."

Grant said it's important you leave yourself plenty of time to get to where you need to go and reduce your speed. She's also encouraging folks to stop at state police headquarters or one of the barracks across the state to pick up one of these "send help" signs.

The signs alert fellow drivers you need assistance, but it also has useful information on the back.

"We encourage people, put these in the car,” Grant said. “I know some people kinda laugh at them. But should they break down, they're going to wish they had this."

Connecticut State Police said put that phone away and any other distractions you might have, as it's important you remain focused any time you're behind the wheel.

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