AAA predicts over 2.5 million motorists are expected to travel by automobile in the volunteer state between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, an increase of 5.1% since 2017.
To accommodate them and enhance safety, the Tennessee Department of Transportation is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways. No temporary lane closures will be allowed for construction on Tennessee roadways beginning at noon Friday, December 21, 2018 until 6 a.m. Wednesday, January 2, 2019.
“With over two million drivers expected to travel Tennessee roadways during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, keeping traffic moving and getting motorists to their destinations safely is our top priority,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said in announcing the schedule. “As always, please wear your seatbelt, reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and never drink and drive.”
Except for a few long-term closures which must remain in place for safety, all construction-related closures will be suspended during the holiday period. Workers may still be on-site in some construction zones. Drivers should obey all posted speed limits, particularly in construction areas. Slower speeds are necessary in work zones due to the temporary layout of the roadway and will be enforced. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.
According to AAA, 112.5 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more, with 102.1 million expected to drive to their holiday destinations.
From your desktop or mobile device, get the latest construction activity and live streaming SmartWay traffic cameras at www.TNSmartWay.com/Traffic. Travelers can also dial 511 from any land-line or cellular phone for travel information, or get information on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TN511 for statewide travel. As always, drivers are reminded to use all motorist information tools wisely and Know Before You Go! by checking travel conditions before leaving for your destination. Drivers should never tweet, text or talk on a cell phone while behind the wheel.
In 2016, the Tennessee Department of Transportation lost three workers in the line of duty. All three were struck by passing motorists. Those tragedies bring the total number of TDOT lives lost to 112.