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Surge in traffic enforcement planned for U.S. Highway 550 day before Thanksgiving

Law enforcement will team up to patrol stretch of road between Durango and Montrose
Colorado State Patrol and the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office are conducting a surge in traffic enforcement along U.S. Highway 550 the day before Thanksgiving. (Courtesy of Colorado State Patrol)

The Colorado State Patrol is advising people traveling U.S. Highway 550 the day before Thanksgiving to cover their safe-driving bases because there will be a surge in traffic enforcement.

“We’re doing a surge enforcement the day before Thanksgiving basically because AAA says that’s the second-busiest highway travel-day of the year,” said Capt. John Trentini with the Colorado State Patrol based in Durango. “We just want to let people know what we are doing and just encourage them to pay attention to the road and drive safe.”

The busiest highway-travel day is the day before Christmas.

The stepped-up scrutiny will focus on the section of highway from Durango to Montrose Enforcement efforts will concentrate on factors that cause the highest numbers of crashes – driving under the influence, speeding, distracted driving and lane violations. They will also look for people not wearing seat belts.

Durango-based CSP is teaming with Montrose-based CSP and the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office for the surge.

“We are all covering different sections just because that’s a busy highway and there will be a lot of people traveling in for the holiday,” Trentini said.

Colorado State Patrol will also step up enforcement in the Alamosa area.

Colorado State Patrol data indicates the highest crash times are during the mid- to late-afternoon hours.

An estimated 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, according to AAA. That’s a 1.5% increase from 2021 and about 98% of pre-pandemic volumes.

Traveling by automobile for Thanksgiving accounts for 48.7 million travelers out of the overall 54.6 million people traveling by all methods, according to AAA.

gjaros@durangoherald.com



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