The annual influx of traffic for Labor Day weekend has begun

Michael Ein

Vehicles heading toward beaches, barbecues and other holiday happenings began arriving in the area in large numbers Friday as the Labor Day weekend began.

AAA expects more than 1 million New Jersey residents will travel 50 or more miles for the holiday, and that number does not include the people from out of state driving to and through the area, spokeswoman Tracy Noble said.

"It's going to be very congested on the roadways," she said.

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The heaviest trafficked parts of the weekend are Friday, late Monday and early Tuesday morning, she said.

"If people can take alternate routes - and avoid the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway - it will be a little farther to drive but ultimately they will spend less time sitting in traffic," she said.

State roads had the usual heavy traffic for a holiday weekend, but State Police Sgt. Brian Polite said there were no major accidents reported during the day Friday.

The State Police advise residents to be extra cautious and patient while driving during the weekend, he said. He listed tips such as using a designated driver, reporting aggressive driving to police and giving yourself extra time to reach your destination.

No major accidents had been reported on South Jersey roads Friday night.

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