State police: Extra patrols ready for Memorial Day weekend travel surge

Photo of Tara O'Neill
Traffic along Interstate 95 near Exit 4 in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich, Conn.

Traffic along Interstate 95 near Exit 4 in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich, Conn.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting across Connecticut, state police said they expect to see a greater number of vehicles back on the roads and highways this Memorial Day weekend — and they are ready to keep drivers safe with increased enforcement.

As residents hit the road for the beach, barbecues and more, troopers from each of the 11 state police barracks will patrol state roads and highways during the three-day weekend, including extra roving DUI patrols from Thursday night through the evening of Memorial Day.

Troopers will use all methods of enforcement throughout the weekend, including laser devices for speed enforcement. State police will also have marked, unmarked and non-traditional police vehicles patrolling the roadways.

“As the state lifts pandemic restrictions, the potential for more traffic issues increases,” State Police Col. Stavros Mellekas said. “Lawful driving by all motorists is the key to avoiding tragedies on Connecticut’s highways.”

State police said drivers should “definitely plan for traffic delays” as more drivers venture out for the holiday weekend.

In 2020, troopers responded to 7,963 calls for service and investigated 175 accidents. There were 983 speeding tickets, 39 seat belt violations and 33 DUI arrests. The year prior, there were 7,540 calls for service and 341 accidents, including one fatal crash. Troopers reported 607 speeding tickets, 448 seat belt violations and 20 DUI arrests.

Troopers urge drivers to fasten their seat belts, obey the speed limits, keep reasonable distance away from other vehicle, avoid distractions while driving, never drink and drive and follow the Move Over Law, which requires drivers approaching a stopped emergency vehicle to slow down and move over at least one lane as long as it is safe to do so.