By Christian Sullivan
INDIANAPOLIS — More than a million Hoosiers are expected to travel this Fourth of July weekend and those hitting the road will be paying more at the pump.
Indiana’s gas tax will increase ten cents a gallon under House Enrolled Act 1002, which goes into effect Saturday. The tax will jump from 18 cents to 28 cents a gallon.
However, Greg Seiter, public affairs manager of the AAA Hoosier Motor Club, does not expect Hoosier travel to drop due to the tax increase. Instead, AAA is predicting a 3.2 percent increase from last year.
“People tend to make their travel plans far in advance,” Seiter said. “In the grand scheme of things, especially from what we see here in Indiana relative to gas price fluctuations, 10 cents really isn’t much.”
As of Thursday, the average gas price in Indiana is down ten cents from a year ago.
The Indiana Department of Transportation announced road work will stop for the Independence Day weekend beginning at noon on Friday through the morning of Wednesday, July 5. INDOT also will be removing road restrictions, when possible, to ease the flow of traffic for the influx drivers.
This Fourth of July is expected to break records with 44.2 million Americans traveling around the country, according to AAA’s predictions.
Drivers can learn about traffic and road conditions before they start their trip by visiting http://indot.carsprogram.org or by calling 511 from a mobile device.
Safety is the number one goal of the Indiana State Police this holiday weekend. During the 2015 Fourth of July period, nearly half of the drivers killed were alcohol-impaired. More troopers will be on the road to help prevent accidents and set up more sobriety checkpoints.
“The senseless behavior of drinking and driving is an inexcusable act that impacts thousands of families each year,” Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said in a statement. “Don’t ruin your Fourth of July Holiday by driving impaired, being arrested and endangering yourself and everyone else.”
Christian Sullivan is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.