Thanksgiving travel will cost less due to lower gasoline prices

November 22, 2018

Daily Journal staff report

Drivers have reason to be extra thankful this Thanksgiving holiday.

The average price for unleaded gasoline in Illinois as of Monday was $2.57, about 30 cents less than a month ago and 13 cents less than a year ago, said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA.

Monday’s Illinois average represents the lowest since March and is only 9 cents more than the lowest price this year ($2.48).

In Indiana, the average price for gasoline is $2.42, which is 34 cents less than last month and 23 cents lower than last year. Monday’s Indiana average represents the lowest since February and is only 5 cents higher than the lowest Indiana price this year ($2.37). The national average is $2.62.

“Motorists in Illinois and Indiana can be thankful for strong oil inventories and low demand, which have set the table for some of the lowest gas prices of the year,” Mosher said. “This is perfect timing as motorists hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday.”

About 49 million Americans will be hitting the road for Thanksgiving this year, which represents about 5 percent more road travelers than last year. In Illinois, 2.5 million motorists will be traveling, which is up 4.7 percent from last year.

There will be 1.1 million Hoosiers hitting the roads this holiday, up 4.6 percent from last year.

Beyond this week, the national gas price average could drop into the $2.30s, before fully adjusting to recent oil and wholesale price declines. There is potential for gas prices to rise again in December depending on how markets respond to possible OPEC oil production costs and sanctions against Iran oil exports.

Law enforcement

Illinois State Police will be patrolling interstates and heavily traveled state routes and will aggressively enforce fatal four violations — speeding, DUI, distracted driving and seat belts — as well as other violations likely to cause crashes.

“District 21 wants to assist in ensuring the motoring public has a safe and memorable Thanksgiving Holiday,” said state police Capt. Don Aaron Harsy. District 21 troopers will increase patrol efforts and visibility by conducting various enforcement details specifically targeting the fatal four violations

State police is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation and other law enforcement agencies to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket. The campaign runs through Nov. 26.

The goal is to reduce motor vehicle crashes and resulting injuries and fatalities. Stepped-up patrols and seat belt enforcement zones will be seen throughout the state through the holiday period.

Drivers can help by keeping your eye on the road, watching their speed, buckling your seatbelt and refraining from driving after consuming alcoholic beverages, all of which can reduce your chances of being involved in a traffic crash.

Troopers will be on the watch for drivers exceeding speed limits and those who choose to drive distracted, and remove intoxicated drivers from Illinois roadways. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving.

New DUI initiative

Local drivers should remember that officers from Bourbonnais, Bradley, Manteno and Kankakee County Sheriff’s police will be participating in “No Refusal” program starting today and running through Sunday.

The program is designed to combat DUI.

Officers will be able to obtain a warrant for a blood draw for any DUI suspect who refuses breath tests to determine blood-alcohol content. A suspect who resist medical staff’s efforts to draw blood could face a felony charge for obstructing justice.

Officers will create search warrants online that will be reviewed by a judge, who can electronically sign the warrant. Officers and judges can confer via video conferencing.

Kankakee State’s Attorney Jim Rowe said the hope is that his office and officers can identify and resolve any issues before the program is implemented countywide, around the clock by mid-2019.

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