By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer
(Walhalla, SC)——————————-With the unofficial start of summer this Memorial Day weekend, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind those we serve of how to remain safe this weekend.
“From information that has been published by AAA Carolina’s, this could be the busiest traveled Memorial Day Weekend in a decade,” says Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jimmy Watt. “When you travel, you will probably have quite a bit of company on the roads, so be patient and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination by leaving as early as you can.”
Traffic volume should start to pick up around lunchtime today and continue to possibly be heavy into the early evening hours as many individuals will be taking today off to make it a four day weekend. Interstates and main roads and highways will obviously see the most traffic, according to PIO Watt, and with road construction projects on many of those roads, caution is needed in those areas even though work will cease for the holiday weekend.
“Normal protocol is for work in the construction zones during the Memorial Day weekend to be suspended sometime Friday afternoon until midnight Memorial Day night,” continues PIO Watt. “However, there still may be lane shifts in those areas and construction equipment on the side of the road and in the medians. Also, speed limit changes in those areas may still be in effect and enforced even though work has been suspended.”
PIO Watt goes on to say that another good idea to make sure your vehicle is ready for summer travel by checking air pressure in your tires and by making sure that all fluids are filled to their proper levels and by checking belts, hoses and brakes as well.
There will also be many people celebrating this weekend and the Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone not to drink and drive and not to operate a vehicle or boat or watercraft while under the influence. Also, open containers are not allowed in county parks and recreation areas as well. Also, drivers should not text or do anything that could cause a distraction as they travel this weekend. Drivers and passengers should also remember to buckle their seats belts, even if they are traveling a short distance.
“The Sheriff’s Office Uniform Patrol Division will be conducting normal and full road patrol operations throughout the entire weekend,” continues P.I.O. Watt. “Our Marine One unit will also be on the lakes this weekend to help keep everyone safe on the water and this enforcement on land and water will include our county parks and recreation areas. As always, our mission is to keep our citizens safe as we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country to keep us free.”