Holiday Travelers Impact Greenville Patrols And Economy


By Catalina Trivino

With July 4 right around the corner, authorities are hoping the only fireworks you see are in the sky... and not on the highway. But while officers are patrolling the streets, some business owners say the they'll be reeling in some extra cash because of all the travelers.

The holiday travel rush has officially kicked off once again -- and it's a time that picks up for police officers in Greenville as thousands of drivers ride through the area. On the other hand, the increased traffic has local businesses happy.

Beach-goers like Chuck Beck and his family are packing their bags and hitting the road -- and according to AAA, he joins more than 40 million Americans who are traveling to celebrate Independence Day. About 34 million of those are drivers.

"Actually, we've had except for the rain in Montgomery, we've had a pretty good run today, no real heavy traffic or anything," Said Beck, traveling from Atlanta, GA.

But with the volume of traffic in the coming hours and possible wet roads, Greenville Police are on high alert. Especially since exit 130 is known to see a lot of travelers -- and with that, a lot of tickets this time of year.

Police Chief, Lonzo Ingram, says there will be extra patrols out. Their focus will be on Interstate 65.

"Get them on the interstate, back off the interstate and we'll also have extra people out. We'll be looking for traffic violators, we'll be looking for DUI, reckless drivers and a big thing is distracted driving," Said Ingram.

But while they'll be busy on the streets, local businesses will be busy, as well.

Manager from the Cracker Barrel in Greenville tells us about 90 percent of their customers are from out of town.

"It's the best time of the year. We love it. We get the chance to get as many staff in as possible, that makes it good for my staff, good for the traveling public because basically we're also at almost efficient," Said Cracker Barrell General Manager, Frederick Edmond.


AAA says Sunday, July 7th is when the largest share of people will return from their trip, which is about 38 percent of all travelers.

AAA reports there are slightly fewer people traveling this year... By about point 8 percent... And they say that could be due to a shorter holiday period since the fourth lands on a Thursday.


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