More than a million Hoosiers are expected to travel this Fourth of July weekend, and those hitting the road could be paying more at the pump.
Indiana’s gas tax will increase by 10 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.”
Nationally, drivers are seeing seasonal gas prices at a 12-year low.
As of Thursday, the average gas price in Indiana was down 10 cents from a year ago. In the Indianapolis area, according to Gasbuddy.com, the average price of gas Thursday was $2.08 per gallon, down 2.8 cents from a year ago.
The Indiana Department of Transportation announced road work will stop for the Independence Day weekend beginning at noon Friday through the morning of Wednesday. 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 top goal of the Indiana State Police during the holiday. During the 2016 Independence Day holiday weekend, there were 146 drug- or alcohol-related crashes in Indiana, resulting in 82 injuries and six deaths.
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 written statement. “Don’t ruin your Fourth of July holiday by driving impaired, being arrested and endangering yourself and everyone else.”