Police increasing patrols for Memorial Day weekend

Photo: Jonathan Richards

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Memorial Day weekend – known as the unofficial beginning of summer – has officially arrived, and Rhode Island State Police say the holiday’s events will require an increased presence on area roads.

The three-day weekend is an extremely popular vacation time, and AAA of Southern New England said it is expecting a nearly 3.5 percent increase in the number of drivers who will travel at least 50 miles or more over the weekend.

Police in Rhode Island say this significant increase in traffic, combined with the holiday’s parties and other festivities, can result in lead to more instances of aggressive or dangerous driving on local roads. To combat this possibility, police said they are assigning extra patrol cars – many of which will be unmarked or low-profile vehicles blending in with civilian traffic – to look out for drunk drivers.

They said they are also planning to strictly enforce the state’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign to prevent crash fatalities.

Across the nation, an estimated 36.1 million Americans are expected to travel during the holiday. AAA says at least 90 percent will travel by car.

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