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Concerns during 4th of July Travel Weekend in NEPA

AAA estimates 41 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home to reach their holiday destination.

Dorrance Township, Luzerne County -- The traffic was heavy Thursday afternoon along Interstate 81 in Luzerne County. Many of the travelers were headed to their 4th of July destinations. The Frantz family left their Virginia home bound for a family get-together in  New York State. While their goal was to arrive safely, they spotted trouble on  their roughly 450 mile sojourn right at the start. "Down in Virginia was a man  just making calls, talking on the phone, swerving from his lane to our lane,"  said Laura Frantz of Centreville, VA.

The Frantz family left their Virginia home bound for a family get-together in New York State. While their goal was to arrive safely, they spotted trouble on their roughly 450 mile sojourn right at the start. "Down in Virginia was a man just making calls, talking on the phone, swerving from his lane to our lane," said Laura Frantz of Centreville, VA.

Distracted driving is just one of the concerns this holiday weekend. Other problems lurking on the highway include drivers traveling at excessive speeds. Another concern is the fatigue factor. Drowsy drivers can be a grave danger to themselves and others on the road. That's why PennDOT is sponsoring safety breaks along Interstates 80, 81 and 84. "People can stop, get out of their car, take a break and then when they get back on the road they can be safer for their travel," said PennDOT spokesman James May. Freeland Whippets Youth Football Organization signed up to staff the I-81 North Dorrance Rest Stop for two days during the 4th of July travel weekend. The volunteers are pleased to provide this public service in exchange for donations. "To let them pull in, take a break, from their long travels and just get something to eat and have a coffee, maybe wake up a little bit," said Freeland Whippets Midget Football League President Donovan Solomon.

Driving under the influence is also a major problem on the road and especially during the summer holiday. It's a concern for the Frantz family and affects when they travel. "We try not to drive late at night. We try to avoid people who are swerving. We'll just fall back and give them the room that they need to do their thing," said Mrs. Frantz. PennDOT warns that police will be keeping a close eye. "From now until Sunday, local police and Pennsylvania State Police will be out cracking down on DUI's," said Mr. May.

The PennDOT sponsored holiday safety breaks will be held at rest areas along Interstates 80, 81 and 84 at various times through Sunday, July 6th.

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