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Michigan braces for the unofficial start of the summer travel season

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

More than a million people are expected to take to Michigan’s highways this Memorial Day weekend.  

There will also be plenty of law enforcement officials on the road.

AAA is predicting this will be the busiest Memorial Day Weekend in more than a decade.

1.3 million Michiganders are expected to drive, fly or otherwise travel this weekend. AAA says more than a million will hit the road for the unofficial start of the summer travel season.

Gas prices have increased by more than 30 cents in the last two months with the Michigan average approaching $3 per gallon, which is slightly less than prices this time last year.

“When gas prices are expensive, travelers may shorten the distance of a road trip, eat out less or look for free activities,” said Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson, AAA Michigan. “But, overall, prices are very similar to this time last year and, like then, they aren’t letting that deter them from taking summer road trips.”

Last year, 15 people died in traffic accidents in Michigan during Memorial Day weekend, the most fatalities over the Memorial Day holiday weekend since 2014.

The Michigan State police and other law enforcement agencies will be stepping up patrols this weekend to crackdown on people driving under the influence and not wearing seatbelts.

“The MSP wants drivers to make safe driving decisions this holiday weekend,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the MSP.  “It takes just seconds to fasten your seat belt, opt for a designated driver or even open an app to use a rideshare service.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.