Va., NC troopers watching the roads for Memorial Day weekend

Va., NC troopers watching the roads for Memorial Day weekend

Va., NC troopers watching the roads for Memorial Day weekend

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Associated Press

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 6:13 AM

Updated Friday, May 24 at 8:58 AM

RICHMOND (AP) -- Virginia State Police will boost road patrols over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Increased patrols begin Friday and continue through Monday night. It's part of the annual Operation CARE national traffic-enforcement effort.

The additional patrols are aimed at reducing crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and failure to use seat belts.

Last year, police cited nearly 11,600 speeders and 3,000 reckless drivers and arrested 137 impaired drivers. Eleven people died in traffic accidents in Virginia last year. Ten of them weren't wearing seat belts.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says it expects slightly more than 1 million Virginians to travel during the holiday weekend. That's down 1.6 percent from 2012.

In North Carolina, Unless they're heading to the weekend races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, motorists can hit the road without too many headaches for the Memorial Day weekend.

The N.C. Department of Transportation says most construction projects along state and U.S. routes will be suspended beginning Friday until Tuesday.

There are three exceptions to the suspensions: U.S. 1 just north of Southern Pines, U.S. 158 in Elizabeth City and U.S. 17 Business in Jacksonville.

In addition, motorists can expect delays due to the weekend races at Charlotte Motor Speedway that likely will generate significant delays in northeast Mecklenburg County and southwest Cabarrus County. The heaviest traffic is expected on Interstate 85, U.S. 29, N.C. 49 and Bruton Smith Boulevard in the vicinity of the speedway.

For those who do take a weekend vacation, AAA Carolinas says drivers will find lower gas prices than during Memorial Day 2012. A significant drop in gas prices is helping to fuel the increase in holiday travel. The current average price for a gallon of unleaded regular in North Carolina is $3.43, ninth lowest in the country. That's down 37 cents since peaking on Feb. 22.

North Carolina's average price is 12 cents per gallon less than on May 22, 2012.

Wilmington has the state's highest average gasoline prices at $3.45. North Carolina's cheapest gas on average is in Boone and High Point, which are both at $3.37.

AP-WF-05-24-13 0726GMT

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