The agency says it will provide more capacity for motorists heading to their destinations.
Frederick, Md (KM). There’s some good news for those heading out for the Holidays. The Maryland State Highway Administration says it will suspend all non-emergency road closures during the Christmas and New Year’s period. The suspensions will take place from Friday, December 22nd until Tuesday, December 26th at 9:00 AM; and from Friday, December 29th till Tuesday, January 2nd at 9:00 AM. “That way we add more capacity for drivers to get from point A to point B this Holiday season,” says SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar.
If you’re traveling by car this Holiday period, SHA says there are several ways to get real time conditions before going. One is through www.md511.org. To find out about the situation on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, you can call 1-877-BAY-SPAN (229-7726).
Before you leave, Gischlar says you need to prepare. “Plan your route accordingly and strategically, leaving at off-peak hours, and get as much information as you can as far as traffic volumes are concerned,” he says.
When you’re out on the highways, SHA says get plenty of rest the night before leaving, make sure all occupants are buckled up in their seatbelts, and drive at the posted speed limit.. “Don’t drive impaired. Make sure if you do partake during the Holidays, have a designated sober driver. And make sure you’re not texting or talking on the phone. All your attention is on the wheel,” he says.
He says take your time getting to your destination. “Never drive in a hurry. It makes you cut corners behind the wheel and that’s not good. That could be deadly,” says Gischlar.
Before you head out, SHA says make sure your car is road ready, and that’s starts with popping open the hood. “Look at the belts, the hose. Make sure there’s no obvious damage or leaking of anything. You could save yourself a lot of time and money if you catch something in the beginning as it’s just starting to wear our,” says Gischlar. He also says check over your tires for wear, and be sure they have the proper treads and tire pressure.
And if you do break down, get off the road. “Put on your blinkers, your hazards beams,” says Gischlar. “If you can, call the #77 for the State Police in the area, or 911.if it’s that close to the road. Maybe they’ll get someone over there to put the flashing lights to protect you even further.”
By Kevin McManus