ARTESIA — If you’re heading out during the Thanksgiving holiday you won’t be alone, according to the American Automobile Association.
AAA New Mexico is estimating that 3.7 million residents of the mountain region, which includes our state, will travel more than 50 miles away from home.
“Travel by auto is expected to be up by 3.5 percent from last year,” said AAA spokesman Daniel Armbruster.
He said 251,000 people are expected to travel by air and another 249,000 are expected to travel by bus or train during the holiday period.
Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage is asking people to be safe during their Thanksgiving travels.
“I think it needs to be brought to the forefront that we really need to buckle down,” he said.
Cage is also reminding drivers not to text and drive, “just keep in mind what you’re doing this holiday season when there’s all the travelers on the road.”
Cage is also asking people to be cautious. He cited a fatal that was reported near Artesia last week where a young boy perished.
“Let’s not have another tragedy mar our holiday season and affect lives in such a negative way,” he said.
No matter where people will be driving in Eddy County this weekend, Cage said people can expect to see a strong presence of law enforcement.
“We have a commitment to keeping the motoring public safe and keeping our citizens safe so, yes, we will be out,” he said.
Cage added that New Mexico State Police will be out as well along with officers from the Artesia and Carlsbad police departments.
“We’re gonna be trying to keep people safe,” he said.
If you’re wondering about the price of gas, Armbruster said it won’t be a factor during the travel period.
He said gas prices in the state are around $2.50 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel. The price is “down a cent from last week.”
General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.