Schools are beginning to let out for summer vacation and the Highway Patrol says that means drivers should notice a change in traffic patterns they should be aware of.

Highway Patrol Spokesman Tim Hull says drivers should be aware of a decrease in school bus traffic in local areas and an increase in bicycle and pedestrian traffic, especially in areas where outdoor summer activities are prominent.

Hull says motorists should still watch out for students  in school areas though, because of summer school classes. “Whether it be going to the swimming pool or any other summer activity, or even kids driving to summer jobs,” he said. “But you won’t see the amount of traffic that we’ve seen over the last few months with school buses and the parents around the schools.”

Hull says as local traffic become lighter, highway traffic will get heavier. “The local weekenders that make regular weekend trips to the Lake of the Ozarks, Branson, and other vacation areas,” he said.

Hull says highway construction also increases during the summer, so he suggests drivers plan their trips accordingly and plan on taking detours.

He also reminds motorists to keep safety in mind and watch weather reports before hitting the road.

“Usually, a lot of people in the state will travel somewhere else and people from elsewhere will travel to Missouri,” he said. “We’ve got places in Kansas City and St. Louis, water parks and amusement parks that we all see visitors going to.”



AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (0:58)