*Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to say the full launch will happen after Christmas.
“We are nearing completion of the new toll collection system. Our customers on the turnpike are already seeing a glimpse of the new toll collection system,” said Chuck Cyrill with the Ohio Turnpike.
Once completed, drivers will be able to travel nonstop across the state. E-ZPass drivers won’t have to stop and wait for gates to go up before passing through toll plazas.
According to Cyrill, the full launch won’t happen until after Christmas. Turnpike officials want to ensure that holiday travel runs smoothly.
“Drivers can expect delays due to the sheer volume that AAA has indicated will be a record year,” said Cyrill.
AAA predicts this Thanksgiving to be the third busiest travel period since 2000, with 55 million Americans expected to travel. That’s a 2.3% increase over last year.
“In the state of Ohio specifically, we expect 2.2 million people to be traveling. Two million by car,” said Tiffany Stanley with AAA.
This is also the first holiday travel season under Ohio’s new distracted driving law. In Ohio, it is illegal to use or hold a cell phone or electronic device in your hand, lap or other parts of the body while driving.
If an officer sees you doing so, they can pull you over.
ODOT also reminds people that crashes and roadside emergencies also increase during the busy travel season.