Ohio State Highway Patrol offers travel advice for people visiting family over the holidays

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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel days of the year. AAA is expecting over 55 million people to hit the roads and the airports this holiday season and plenty of those travelers have made their way through the Mid-Ohio Valley already.

“I’ve got a lot. It started [at] 8 o’clock when I open. It’s been steady, over one hundred people per hour. The weather was rainy this morning, but it didn’t deter people. I still had lots of people,” said Terri Goodnow, supervisor of the Williamstown visitor center.

Not only are there more travelers, but there’s also law enforcement out making traffic stops.

“Typically, Wednesday is one of the busiest days of the year for travel for us. There’s people going up and down interstate 77 coming through Washington County,” said Lieutenant Chris Chesar of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Luckily for some travelers, it turned out to be a decent day to drive.

“We left Charlotte this morning around 7, and traffic has not been as bad as we expected or anticipated, so it’s been pretty smooth so far,” said Jennifer Kolb, a traveler.

“It’s been really, actually nice today. Not a lot of wind, no hazardous road conditions or anything like that, so it’s been nice. Light traffic,” said Dustin Green, another traveler.

Lt. Chesar still wants travelers to be as safe as possible.

“Make sure that you’re well rested, and that you’re alert while you’re driving. Make sure you’re obeying the posted speed limits. Again, don’t drive distracted. Make sure you’re leaving enough room between you and the person in front of you,” said Chesar.

Chesar also wants to remind drivers to give law enforcement plenty of space on the highway.

“We want to remind people that they also need to get over. The safety of our officers is of the utmost importance. We already had one incident where an officer was hit earlier. We can’t stress enough that people need to slow down and get over. If they can’t get over they are required to slow down, but it is the law that they need to do that,” said Chesar.