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Holiday traffic expected to increase nationally but drop slightly in Virginia. Gas prices are still high, about on par with last year, so travelers probably will spend less.
Date published: 11/20/2012
The Virginia State Police beef up patrols during major holidays, and they'll do that during the five-day Thanksgiving travel period.
Last year, the state police reported 884 crashes and nine deaths during the Thanksgiving period. None of the deadly crashes happened locally.
In Stafford County, the sheriff's office will start an initiative this week aimed at drunken and drugged drivers.
Deputies will set up checkpoints on various roads in the county to catch drivers who've been drinking or using drugs.
The program will run through the New Year's holiday.
TIPS FOR THE ROAD
For those trying to figure out when to leave, AAA reports that most travelers plan to depart home on Wednesday and return Sunday.
For those heading north, be prepared for the change to the HOV lanes on Interstate 495.
Those lanes are now express lanes that are electronically tolled and require vehicles to have an E-ZPass device.
Vehicles carrying at least three people can use the lanes free, but these vehicles must have an E-ZPass Flex transponder. Motorcyclists can ride the lanes free and do not need a transponder.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436