ATLANTA—The Georgia State Patrol is making final preparations for the Thanksgiving holiday travel period. The holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 27 and ends at midnight Sunday, December 1. Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said Georgia State Troopers will patrol during the holiday period in an effort to keep the number of traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities as low as possible. “We know from past experience that speed, alcohol, and failing to use seat belts are the primary contributing factors in fatal crashes,” he said.
Traffic is expected to be heavy on Georgia roads throughout the holiday weekend, so state troopers remind drivers to make safety a priority. Plan your trips carefully and allow plenty of time to reach your destinations. “Anticipate traffic delays due to volume or a crash that blocks travel lanes,” Colonel McDonough said. “Also, be prepared should rain make driving conditions hazardous.”
Last year during a similar 102-hour period, troopers investigated 682 traffic crashes across the state that resulted in 380 injuries and 11 fatalities. Statewide, law enforcement officers investigated a total 3,590 crashes that resulted in 1,161 injuries and 21 fatalities. The highest number of traffic deaths ever recorded for the Thanksgiving holiday period was 43 in 1969 and the lowest was four in 1949.
“Make sure everyone is buckled up and that children are properly restrained. Don’t text and drive, obey the posted speed limit, and do not drive impaired. If you know that you will be consuming alcoholic beverages, plan ahead to have a designated driver,” said the commissioner.
Troopers will be watching for impaired drivers. During last year’s holiday period, 324 arrests were made for driving under the influence. “Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, but also know that if you drive impaired, you will go to jail and your vehicle will be impounded,” Colonel McDonough said.
The Thanksgiving holiday period is also an Operation C.A.R.E. holiday where state law enforcement officers across the country join together for a concerted effort to encourage safe travel. The goal of Operation C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort, is to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities on the nation’s roads by balancing high visibility enforcement with educational outreach.
The holiday traffic count will again be updated throughout the holiday weekend on the Georgia Department of Public Safety Web site: http://dps.georgia.gov.