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State Patrol: Holiday Weekend Could be Busiest Ever on Iowa Roads

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The busiest travel day of the year is upon us and the Iowa State Patrol is urging drivers to use extra caution.

“It will be tremendously busy,” said Sgt. Nathan Ludwig. “Plan on seeing extra cars, plan on seeing extra enforcement.”

We all expect to see all the holiday travelers but what concerns the Iowa State Patrol are the other events. In addition to Thanksgiving travelers, expect to see extra commuters heading to both Ames and Iowa City for football games this week.

“Interstate 80 is going to be a zoo,” said Sgt. Ludwig. “We know Husker fans are going to use I-80. With a 2:30 p.m. kick-off it gives fans a little extra time to tailgate too.”

It doesn’t stop there either. The State Patrol is also concerned about the extra drivers out for “Black Friday” shopping.

“With all of those factors, it could potentially be the busiest five-day stretch on Iowa roads in the history of the state,” said Sgt. Ludwig.

Outside of the extra cars on the roads, intoxicated drivers are on the radar of Troopers over the next two days. Over the last year, the Iowa State Patrol has arrested, on average, 19 drivers during the days surrounding Thanksgiving.

“That number is at least double the normal average. That number doesn’t even factor in all of the other local police departments across the state,” said Sgt. Ludwig.

To account for the extra drivers the State Patrol will enact this a “Combined Accident Reduction Effort” weekend. You can expect to see extra squads out this week.

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