Ditching distractions and careful planning will lead to safer roadways throughout the state during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday week, Connecticut State Police said today.

Most residents will be traveling between December 20 and January 1 on trips to see relatives and friends or for the final shopping hours before December 25. A busy week will be made even more heavily traveled with Christmas falling on a Wednesday.

In preparation for the holidays, Troopers ask all motor vehicle operators to plan ahead before heading to a party or to a retail destination. Thousands will take to the major interstates in Connecticut, so it’s vital that motorists follow traffic laws to prevent collisions and injuries.

Some tips from your Connecticut Troopers:

· Drive the speed limit.

· Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

· Ensure that all passengers are wearing seatbelts.

· Signal when turning, changing lanes or taking an exit.

· Refrain from texting or using your phone.

· Never consume alcoholic beverages or drugs, including those legally prescribed, before you get behind the wheel.

· Immediately reduce speed to a reasonable level below the posted speed limit or move over one lane (whenever safe to do so) whenever law enforcement, fire trucks, ambulances or tow trucks are occupying a lane. Please give them room to do their job efficiently and safely.

Drivers are also reminded to plan their trips with care:

· Fill the gas tank prior to your journey.

· Check windshield wipers, windshield wiper fluid and tire pressure.

· Fully charge your cell phone.

· Carry winter blankets, drinking water and snacks.

· Check traffic and weather conditions before leaving home.

· Keep a shovel and sand or salt in the trunk of your vehicle.

“Weather conditions can change at any time during the winter. We ask you to please heed any weather precautions prior to leaving for your destination. The safety of yourself, your family and others on the road should remain your top priority,” noted Colonel Stavros Mellekas, commanding officer of the Connecticut State Police.

He added: “While on patrol, Troopers will focus on distracted driving and those who may be operating under the influence. Please, be our partners in safety by following state laws on the road.

State Police will operate roving patrols and conduct DUI checkpoints starting Dec. 20 and continue through Jan. 1, 2020.

Troop G, which covers Darien and its surrounding area

From Friday, Dec. 20 through Wednesday, Jan. 1 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily there will be roving DUI patrols on I-95 in the Milford and New Haven areas, Bridgeport and Westport areas and Stamford and Norwalk areas; on Route 15 in the Norwalk and Stamford area; and Route 8/Route 25 in the Bridgeport area.

Troop A

From Friday, Dec. 20 through Wednesday, Jan. 1 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily there will be roving DUI patrols on Interstate 84 in greater Waterbury, Danbury and Southbury areas; on Route 8 in Waterbury; and on Route 7 in Brookfield and Danbury.

Troop B

From Friday, Dec. 20 through Wednesday, Jan. 1 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily there will be roving DUI patrols on Route 44 and surrounding roads; and New Hartford to Route 8 in Winsted.

Troop C

From Friday, Dec. 20 through Wednesday, Jan. 1 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily there will be roving DUI patrols on I-84 in Tolland and Union, and within the greater Troop C patrol area.

Troop D

On Friday, Dec. 27 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. there will be a DUI checkpoint on Route 44/Route 21 in East Putnam.

Troop E

From Friday, Dec. 20 through Wednesday, Jan. 1 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily there will be roving DUI patrols on Interstate 95 and Interstate 395, and within the greater Troop E patrol area.

Troop F

From Friday, Dec. 20 through Wednesday, Jan. 1 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily there will be roving DUI patrols on Route 9 and I-95 in Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Essex, Chester, Deep River, Haddam and Killingworth.

Troop H

From Friday, Dec. 20 through Wednesday, Jan. 1 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily there will be roving DUI patrols on I-84, I-91, Route 2, Route 5 and Route 15.

Troop I

On Monday, Dec. 30 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. there will be a DUI checkpoint on I-91 at the Exit 6 on ramp from Willow Street in New Haven.

Troop K

From Friday, Dec. 20 through Wednesday, Jan. 1 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily there will be roving DUI patrols on Route 2.

Troop L

From Friday, Dec. 20 through Wednesday, Jan. 1 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily there will be roving DUI patrols on Route 8 in the Watertown/Litchfield area, and on state highways in the Troop L patrol area.