INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 2, 2015) - The 4th of July weekend is one of the busiest weekends for travel, but it's also one of the deadliest.
According to The National Safety Council, more than 400 deaths and 49,000 injuries are predicted on roads nationwide this weekend, making this 4th of July the deadliest one in years. The council suggests the high statistics are because the holiday falls on a weekend this year, meaning more people will be on the roads and there are more opportunities for drunk drivers.
Indiana State Police will have an increased presence on the roads, targeting drunk drivers and others not following the law.
"It is very likely we’ll arrest more this weekend as people go out and drink alcohol and then decide they’re gonna drive home," explained Indiana State Police Senior Trooper John Perrine.
ISP says the goal is to let drivers know they'll be out in full force. By increasing their presence, they hope drivers will see them before they drive at high speeds or recklessly.
“Our ultimate goal is just to generate compliance through high visibility. With several officers on the road, we would like to see that people just see us out there and obey the laws," says Trooper Perrine.
The Indiana Department of Transportation says contractors in construction zones are ordered to stop working starting Friday through Sunday. Some could be back to work on Monday. While workers may not be present in zones, the slower speed limits will still be in effect. Troopers are targeting those areas.
"The likelihood for a crash in a construction zone is increased because of the narrow lanes, the lane shifts, the lane restrictions, and congested traffic," Trooper Perrine said.
AAA predicts more than one million Hoosiers will hit the road this weekend, traveling at least 50 miles. ISP is taking note of the increased congestion on roads.
“We’re gonna target everything we normally do – speeders, following too close, unsafe lane movements, just anyone driving aggressively or recklessly," Trooper Perrine said.
According to AAA, gas prices are also lower than last year. Last year in Indianapolis, the average cost of gas was $3.57. This year, it's about 75 cents cheaper at $2.81.