BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The end of the year holiday season is filled with celebrations, as well as road hazards.
A record number of people are expected to travel during the holiday season, so police are stepping up security measures to make sure you make it safely to your destination.
From now until New Year’s Day, millions of Americans will hit the road for their festive celebrations, along with extra law enforcement officers on patrol.
“The Maryland Transportation Authority Police is out in full force to detect and intercept impaired drivers this holiday season,” said Edward Bartlinski, with MDTA Police.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2012 to 2016, about 28 percent of fatal crashes during the month of December involved an impaired driver.
In an effort to reduce injuries and deaths on the roads, police will be conducting a high-visibility enforcement, and urge motorists to also be on the lookout.
“If you see someone driving impaired, you should call 911 right away, that way the police can be notified and we can do something about it and stop that driver,” Bartlinski said.
AAA predicts a record 97 million people will be driving during this holiday period, a three-percent jump compared to last year.
It’s also a crucial time for drivers to use caution on busy roadways.
“Remind motorists to make sure they are buckled up, make sure they are not driving distracted, and certainly to make sure they are not driving impaired of drugs or alcohol,” said Ragina Averella, with AAA.
So far this year, police have made close to 1,000 impaired driving arrests in Maryland.
Experts say this is the ninth consecutive year travel has increased during this holiday period.