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Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season and BBQ season, not to mention the travel season.
AAA projects that 36 million Americans will trek at least 50 miles away from their homes this Memorial Day weekend, ready to shake off the cold-weather blues of a rough winter. That means there will be 1.5 percent more people on the roads than last year.
As you prepare for your Memorial Day weekend road trip, don't forget these five legal tips:
1. Be Aware of State Cell Phone Laws.
Mobile phone use while driving may be legal in your neck of the woods, but you don't want to start your Memorial Day road trip with a texting-while-driving ticket. Just to be safe, you might want to set up your vacation vehicle with a Bluetooth hands-free interface. And to be even safer, it may be smart to look up the cell phone laws for each state you'll be driving through.
2. Don't Fret About Out-of-State Speeding Tickets.
You may have planned the perfect cross-state trip this Memorial Day, but an out-of-state speeding ticket is a perfect buzzkill. Don't let that ticket vex you. You have plenty of options for fighting or resolving that out-of-state ticket once you get home.
This doesn't mean you should forget about an out-of-state ticket entirely. It will likely still affect you in your home state if you neglect it.
3. Be Smart About Traveling With Guns.
If you're planning on visiting a big tourist city this Memorial Day, please check the local gun laws before you leave. New York City, for example, nabs tourists every year with its notoriously strict gun license and permit regulations.
No matter how you travel, you'll also need a permit to carry your firearm, and be careful to abide by specific rules for checking weapons in baggage on planes and trains. If you're driving, make sure to keep your licensed weapon out of plain view (e.g., in a glove compartment).
4. Read Up on Traveling With Pets.
Depending on your destination this Memorial Day, it may take some extra planning in order to bring your pets along. If you're driving, make sure to secure pets safely in your car, and this does not include driving with your dog in your lap.
Pets flying with you to far-off locales may need vaccinations and medical records, or else your pooch may spend the weekend quarantined.
5. Don't Operate Vehicles While Intoxicated.
We sound like a nag on every holiday, but don't drink and drive. Or drink and boat. Remember that some local organizations like AAA clubs offer "tipsy tow" services on Memorial Day weekend, so there's even less reason to drive while drunk.
Stay safe and kickoff summer this Memorial Day!