Editorial: Fun-filled summertime is ending

Aug. 28, 2014 @ 11:22 PM

Labor Day weekend has arrived and Tri-Countians and North Carolinians are ready for travel, frolic and fun.

We are extremely fortunate. In Vance County, we don’t even have to leave home to reach the beautiful waters of Kerr Lake. They’ve been typical busy this summer.

But, if we’ve been there all summer or close to it, then the beaches may be calling. Or, perhaps it’s the mountains.

Festivities are available in all directions. North Carolina scores well for tourists, and that includes in-state day-trippers in addition to the traditional out of state guest.

By weather measures, the summer has been good. Sweltering 100-degree days have been avoided. It’s been another summer of “what global warming?”

We’re pleading today for everyone to be careful. Even if staying within the Tri-County, and hopping onto U.S. 1 or Interstate 85 for a short part of an errand, remember others might be in longer commutes and fueled with who knows what.

Roughly 1 million will travel on North Carolina roads for the holiday, and about 30 million across the country. The luggage should include a bucket of patience applied often.

Among the tips from many agencies: leave early, stay alert to changing conditions, be patient and obey speed limits, use alternate routes to avoid congestion, don’t drive while drowsy and avoid distractions and alcohol while driving.

Two years ago, gas prices were mostly in the $3.80s. Last year, it was the $3.50s. And this week we’ve seen $3.20s. The translation is more drivers could be around us.

Safe steps at home are encouraged as well. The weekend is ripe for backyard grilling. Take the necessary steps to be safe, whether lighting a grill, playing outdoors or taking a cool dip in the pool, lake or ocean.

Extra awareness is always positive, but even moreso on a busy weekend.

Good neighbors are all around us. We just need to remember to show it.

Be part of the fun, not the statistics.

Happy Labor Day!