Officials warn travelers of heavy traffic ahead of Memorial Day weekend

(WGGB/WSHM) – On Friday afternoon, many travelers got a head start to their Memorial Day weekend destinations.

When Western Mass News hit the Mass. Pike, we saw a mix of steady and slow traffic.

Millions of Americans are expected to travel over this holiday weekend, but with multiple electric vehicles charging stations on the pike malfunctioning, drivers of the E.V’s will want to make sure they have the energy needed to hit the open highway.

It’s a scene drivers know all too well, a sea of traffic delaying their vacation, which is why Sarah and her son Jack hit the road early for their 4.5-hour drive to North Redding.

“Hopefully we can get away from it before everyone gets off of work not so bad and leave early Monday or while everyone’s still barbecuing right,” said Sarah.

It’s not too bad of a plan, according to AAA Northeast, more than one million people in the bay state alone are predicted to travel this weekend.

“There are no more COVID restrictions that folks will have to worry about,” said Mark Schieldrop. “You don’t have to get tested before your trip, you don’t have to carry that documentation anymore, there’s less fear of getting sick when you’re traveling.”

Whether your car runs on gas or electricity, it’s important to keep it ready to roll.

Taking a look at gas prices for Friday, it averaged $3.51 a gallon, more than a dollar less than last year’s average of $4.73.

If your car runs on electricity, be warned, you may need to go on a quest to access a charging station.

MassDOT reported that six EV charging stations at the Mass. Pike service plazas in Lee, Charlton and Framingham are unavailable.

Two free mobile battery chargers will be placed at the service plazas in Natick and Charlton westbound Saturday and eastbound Sunday and Monday. The Tesla chargers are still operating.

One traveler explained that problems like this are why he hasn’t given up the pump just yet.

“Until they work out the kinks, I’m very hesitant to go with a full electric vehicle, I don’t want to show up and find out I can’t get a charge again,” said Todd Hansen.

With more drivers on the roads, Massachusetts State Police will continue patrolling the Bay State for dangerous driving.

Officials tweeted earlier this week in part:

Our #clickitorticket effort continues with extra patrols across the state through June 4. We’re on the lookout for violations that jeopardize motorists’ safety, including seatbelt violations…

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