JASPER — Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. AAA is predicting 54.6 million people will be heading out for the holiday. Of those, nearly 49 million will be traveling by car, a rebound to almost pre-pandemic levels. This time of year is also associated with higher drinking rates, which, combined with the sheer number of drivers on the road, makes it an especially dangerous time for motorists.

To prevent crashes, the Indiana State Police Jasper Post will ramp up enforcement as part of the Safe Family Travel campaign. Starting this week, officers will be out in greater numbers conducting saturation patrols designed to discourage impaired driving and promote seat belt use. Safe Family Travel operations begin before Thanksgiving each year and run through New Year’s Day. The extra high-visibility enforcement is funded with grants provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI). Lt. Jason Allen, Commander of the Jasper Post, said, “The holiday season is a very special time of year. May you enjoy many blessings and fellowship with friends and family. Thank you for not drinking and driving and for doing your part to ensure everyone reaches their destination safely.”