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RALEIGH – The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in NCDOT Now, the department’s weekly newscast.

Plan Ahead for Holiday Travel

It’s the time of year where millions of people travel near and far to see loved ones for the holidays. Whether you’re traveling by car, plane or train, the N.C. Department of Transportation wants to make sure you get there safely. Beginning Dec. 20, most lane closures on NCDOT construction projects on our major highways will be put on hold through Jan. 2.

Drivers can check the status of the highways they plan to use by visiting drivenc.gov before starting their trips. The site provides current road conditions by route, county or region 24 hours a day.

You can also access the information by calling 511 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., on the weekends 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on state holidays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Holiday Booze It and Lose It

It’s always important that if you plan to drink, you don’t drive.

As part of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s Holiday ‘Booze it & Lose it’ Campaign, state and local law enforcement officers will patrol day and night to catch impaired drivers behind the wheel.

The campaign runs now through Jan. 2.

Gifting or Getting a Drone

If you’re on Santa’s ‘nice’ list, you may have a drone waiting for you under the Christmas tree. Drones are a popular holiday gift, but it’s important new owners take the time to know how to safely fly an unmanned aircraft.

More than 30,000 North Carolinians now own and operate drones for recreational use. With this number growing, NCDOT is reminding pilots to:

  • Always fly within 400 feet of the ground;
  • Never fly near airports;
  • Avoid flying over events or crowds; and
  • Don’t fly at night, even if the drone has lights.

For additional guidelines, go to ncdot.gov and search ‘drones’.

For more information about NCDOT Now, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at 919-707-2660. Additional news stories from throughout the week can be found on NCDOT.gov.