Many Santa Barbara County residents were hitting the road or the airport to take advantage of the three-day Labor Day weekend, and officials were reminding travelers to prepare for increased waits and take safety precautions while enjoying the holiday.
Officials from the Santa Barbara Airport sent a statement out this week, saying they anticipate a busy travel period during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
More than 9,000 passengers traveled through the airport during the same period in 2012, with the busiest travel days being the Thursday before and Tuesday following Labor Day, the statement said.
Airport officials were advising passengers to arrive 90 minutes before the flight departure time to find easy parking, check luggage and go through the security checkpoint.
Arrival and departure information can be found at the airport's website, and the airport offers both short- and long-term parking, including offsite long-term parking, which has a free shuttle that takes visitors to the terminal.
For those taking to the road over the holiday, a host of law enforcement agencies have announced that they'll be beefing up patrols this weekend in an effort to keep drivers safe.
The Santa Maria Police Department Traffic Bureau will be one agency conducting a DUI/driver's license Checkpoint in the city — from 7 p.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday.
“In Santa Maria alone, between September 2009 and September 2012, 423 DUI collisions have claimed four lives and resulted in 120 injury crashes, harming over 168 of our friends and family members," traffic Sgt. Jesus Valle said. "Don’t take the risk."
The California Highway Patrol is also teaming up with local law enforcement agencies for their own DUI crackdown over the holiday weekend, which they referred to as their "maximum enforcement period."
During last year’s Labor Day maximum enforcement period, 35 people were killed in collisions on California’s roadways, the CHP reported, and admonished all drivers to wear their seat belts and call 911 to report anyone who appears to be driving while intoxicated.