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Put phones away if you’re driving to a Charlotte shopping destination, DOT urges

Charlotte area roads were quiet on Friday morning, but traffic was expected to pick up near shopping destinations as the day moved on.

Interstate 85 near Concord Mills mall in Concord is one traditional site of Black Friday congestion, along with I-485 at Carolina Place near Pineville and Harris Boulevard and Interstate 77 in north Charlotte.

Pineville police alerted motorists to expect congestion when the Santa Train appears at the Melrose and First street crossing beginning at 4 p.m.

Motorists should watch out for pedestrians there and seek alternate routes if possible, police said.

The N.C. Department of Transportation sent out a Tweet at 6:30 a.m. Friday urging shoppers to put their phones away if they’re driving.

“It’s Black Friday, y’all!!!’’ the DOT’s Tweet said. “If you’re headed out, then be sure to stay focused! Put the phone down while you drive!!!”

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