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Nevada drivers, law enforcement prepare for Memorial Day weekend travel

Posted at 11:30 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-25 02:17:51-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UPDATE MAY 24: Over 300,000 visitors are expected to travel to Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend.

With 60 percent of travelers choosing to get to Vegas by car, Nevada Highway Patrol was out in force on Friday.

NHP along with the California Highway Patrol joined up for joint enforcement on the I-15 near the California-Nevada state border.

The teams issued a total of 274 traffic citations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with CHP at 118 and NHP issuing 156. Nevada troopers said most of the violations were for speed.

As of Friday evening, travel times were reported as usual on the I-15 in Nevada along with U.S. 95 and U.S. 93, but travel experts said that could change with the expected influx of visitors.

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The American Automobile Association in Southern Nevada is closely monitoring conditions on the roads as travelers make their way into Las Vegas for Memorial Day weekend.

It should not come as a surprise that Las Vegas ranks in the top three for 2019 Memorial Day travel destinations in the country, according to AAA.

The busiest travel times will be Thursday night and Friday night.

AAA estimates 37.6 million vehicles will hit the road this year - the most on record for the Memorial Day holiday.

Thursday, 13 Action News caught up with drivers filling up at the world's largest Chevron station in Jean off the I-15 who were trying to beat the rush.

"I wanted to do a lot of the driving before the actual weekend hit before Monday got here and things got hectic," said Jennifer Griffin-Dyllon. She also said she was no stranger to the problems drivers can unleash this weekend.

More drivers on the roads mean more congestion on the streets, and that's something AAA is also keeping a close eye on.

"We expect the heaviest traffic to happen today and tomorrow," said Sergio Avila, AAA spokesperson.
"It's going to be more dangerous on the road because of accidents and things that can happen."

The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is also considered the 100 Deadly Days of Summer because the number of traffic deaths tends to go up during this time of year.

"There's a lot of accidents out there that crop up unexpectedly, police haven't had a chance to get there yet, so they get stopped in the middle of traffic," said driver Sandy Castellano.

The big message from officials for the weekend is for everyone to arrive alive along with keeping yourself and family safe and prepared during travel.

"Pack extra water, maybe some snacks, you never know how long that drive will be there may be accidents, or you may be stuck a lot longer," Avila said.