Travelers urged to allow plenty of time for journey

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

AAA is predicting the number of Americans traveling this Thanksgiving will be close to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

And a local law enforcement official is urging drivers to give themselves plenty of time to reach their destinations.

"There will be probably be a lot of traffic on the road," said Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department. "We want you to make it to your destination."

By allowing themselves plenty of time to reach their destinations, drivers will not feel rushed, he said.

Nicodemus also encourages people to wear their seatbelts as they travel this holiday weekend.

AAA predicts 53.4 million Americans will travel for the Thanksgiving weekend, and 48.3 million of them are expected to travel by car, according to a news release from the automobile association.

AAA Kansas is predicting 571,000 Kansans will be traveling this weekend, the vast majority of which will be traveling on roadways.

"Thanksgiving travelers see COVID in the rear view mirror and they are looking forward to returning to the pre-pandemic tradition of gathering with family and friends," Shawn Steward, spokesman for AAA Kansas, said in a news release. "Travelers should expect – and plan for – both the roadways and airports to be as busy as ever."

The Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office is participating in a statewide traffic enforcement campaign this holiday weekend.

The Kansas Thanksgiving Safe Arrival traffic enforcement campaign started this past weekend and will continue through Monday, according to Leavenworth County Undersheriff Jim Sherley.

As part of the campaign, deputies with the Sheriff's Office will be conducting a saturation patrol from 10 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday in southern Leavenworth County.

While deputies will be enforcing all state traffic laws, members of the saturation patrol will be focused on aggressively enforcing occupant protection laws, according to Sherley.

A grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation will pay for overtime for deputies who are involved in the enforcement campaign.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR