An estimated 1.4 million Michiganians will travel during the 2009 Labor Day holiday, according to a recent AAA survey. This year, Labor Day falls on Sept. 7, a full week after last year, at a time when many families are preparing for school opening. Nationally, Labor Day travel is anticipated to be down 13 percent from last year.
“However, lower gas prices, combined with end of summer discounts and deals offered by travel providers, are encouraging travelers to enjoy summer’s last hurrah,” said Claire Lockley, vice president of Travel for The Auto Club Group. Most Labor Day travelers will go by auto (84 percent), while air travel will account for only four percent. Twelve percent will go by train, bus, RV, motorcycle or personal watercraft.
Holiday auto travelers will find gas prices in Michigan averaging $2.59 for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline, $1.23 lower than last year. The price in Cedar Springs, as of Wednesday, was $2.52 per gallon.
This year, the official 78-hour Labor Day holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Friday (Sept. 4), and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday (Sept. 7).
During last year’s holiday period, 12 people died in 12 fatal crashes on roads across the state. Four of last year’s deaths were alcohol-related. Of the persons killed, three were not belted and four did not have seat belts available, as they were cycle related. Two of those were not wearing helmets, one was and one was unknown.
To help make this year’s Labor Day holiday period a safe one, AAA Michigan will once again partner with the Michigan State Police (MSP) in supporting Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). Bright banners will be posted at rest areas statewide, with most sites offering complimentary coffee and refreshments. In addition to free coffee, Operation C.A.R.E. volunteers will provide information about some of the major causes of deadly crashes and how to avoid them.
Local law enforcement here in Cedar Springs and across the state will also continue extra patrols until Labor Day, under the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest program, in conjunction with the Office of Highway Safety Planning.