MAINE, USA — Summer weather has arrived here in Maine and with many pandemic restrictions lifted, more Mainers will be out-and-about enjoying our beaches, lakes, restaurants and bars this weekend. It will be a stark contrast to how things looked last May, when the COVID-19 pandemic was ramping up in the state.
AAA is forecasting 1.7 million New Englanders are expected to travel, an increase of 60% from last year when only 1 million traveled. 1.6 million of those New Englanders will travel by automobile, which is an increase of 52 percent, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety.
This month has been a particularly deadly month for traffic deaths in Maine. Over the last few weeks, Maine has had 10 fatal crashes that resulted in 16 deaths, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety. Most recently, crashes involving motorcycles have resulted in four deaths and other serious injuries and crashes involving pedestrians have resulted in three deaths. There have also been two triple fatal crashes just this week and, already this year, Maine has lost 44 people to motor vehicle-related crashes where at least six were drivers with a blood alcohol content greater than .08., according to the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The Maine Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Highway Safety said in a release Thursday it is urging people to drive safely, and especially to drive sober this holiday weekend.
“While we want people to have fun and enjoy all that Maine has to offer, drunk and drugged driving is 100% preventable.” Maine Bureau of Highway Safety Director Lauren Stewart said in Thursday's release. “If you feel different, you drive different and you should not be behind the wheel taking a chance on seriously injuring or killing yourself or another person on the road with you.”