Officials Remind Motorists to Safely Travel Over Labor Day Holiday Weekend
LANSING - The 2020 Labor Day holiday weekend is upon us and police departments, sheriff’s offices, the Michigan State Police and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) are encouraging drivers to make smart driving decisions to ensure a safe end of summer celebration and be aware of road closures and re-openings this weekend.
During a three-week period, August 14th through September 7th, there will be increased enforcement and additional messaging about the dangers of driving impaired on the roads.
“The aim is to drastically reduce deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired driving,” said Michael L. Prince, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “This should be a time for friends and family to enjoy the final days of summer. Impaired driving puts everyone at risk and is always unacceptable.”
Officers will be on the lookout for motorists under the influence of drugs and alcohol throughout the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement period. In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired. Michigan has what is commonly referred to as a zero-tolerance drugged driving law. During last year’s Labor Day holiday, there were 10 fatalities, with three fatalities involving alcohol. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the United States Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the OHSP.
MDOT is once again removing lane restrictions on state road and bridge projects as much as possible for the Labor Day holiday weekend to ease traffic delays for travelers. While AAA forecast summer travel (June 1st - September 30th) to be down 15 percent this year, vehicles were expected to make up 97 percent of the favored mode of transportation. AAA has also predicted car trips will have the smallest drop in year-to-year traffic volumes for the summer, at only 3 percent.
Beginning at 3:00 pm Friday, September 4th, and continuing until 6:00 am Tuesday, September 8th, 144 out of 200 projects statewide will have lane restrictions removed. While motorists will see suspended operations in most MDOT construction zones for the weekend, drivers are advised that equipment and certain traffic configurations may remain in place, like temporary shifts or shoulder closures.
MDOT officials remind motorists to, "Remember to buckle up, stay alert and avoid distractions at all times when driving."
Visitors traveling up north are reminded that the Mackinac Bridge Authority voted in May to suspend this year's Annual Bridge Walk due to the pandemic. The event is expected to resume in 2021.