GSP Planning for Labor Day Holiday Patrols

August 22, 2003

(ATLANTA) - The Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety are predicting 19 traffic deaths over the 78-hour Labor Day holiday weekend. Traffic predictions from the state agencies also call for 2,018 traffic crashes and 804 injuries over the holiday period that begins Friday, August 29 at 6 p.m. and ends at midnight, Monday, September 1.

Colonel George Ellis, Georgia State Patrol Commander, said state troopers would be targeting impaired drivers during the holiday patrols. "Last year, nine of the 17 people killed were in fatal crashes that involved alcohol, drugs, or a combination," he said. "Additionally, 10 of the people killed were either not wearing a seat belt or belt use could not be determined. Two of the fatalities were pedestrians." Troopers will be conducting concentrated patrols and roadchecks during the holiday period.

Last year, Georgia State Troopers arrested 577 people on charges of driving under the influence during the 78-hour holiday period. Colonel Ellis noted there were more than 18,000 citations issued over the holiday weekend. The Georgia State Patrol reminds motorists who will be traveling over the holiday period to plan their trips carefully. "Allow yourself ample time to reach your destination and plan for heavy traffic or delays," Colonel Ellis said.

Several enforcement and educational campaigns are planned for the holiday period. The Georgia State Patrol will be joining other law enforcement agencies in the state for Operation Click It or Ticket, the state's high visibility seat belt enforcement program. The program, sponsored by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, begins Monday, August 25 and continues through Labor Day.

The Labor Day holiday weekend is also an Operation C.A.R.E. holiday period. Operation C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort, is a program of the International Association of Chiefs of Police designed to unite the law enforcement community across the United States and Canada in a campaign to reduce traffic deaths through high visibility enforcement and education.

Law enforcement officers will also be participating in the Hands Across the Border program in the week leading up to Labor Day. The program is a time for Georgia law enforcement officers to encourage safe travel during the holiday period with their counterparts in neighboring states. Educational campaigns are conducted at selected sites in Georgia and the adjoining states.