GSP Urges Careful Planning for Memorial Weekend



(ATLANTA) - The Georgia State Patrol today reminded motorists to begin planning now if they will be traveling during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.   Colonel George Ellis, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, urges motorists to have their vehicles inspected before beginning a long holiday weekend trip to reduce the chances of a breakdown during travel.


       “Summer heat takes its toll on motor vehicles, but routine maintenance and a pre-trip inspection are the best steps you can take to avoid a mechanical breakdown while traveling,” Colonel Ellis said.  “Make sure the inspection covers the vehicle’s tire tread wear, brakes, belts, fluid levels and hoses.


       Despite the rising price of gasoline, traffic is expected to be heavy during the 78-hour  Memorial Day holiday period that begins Friday, May 28 at 6 p.m. and ends at midnight Memorial Day, May 31.  Traffic predictions from the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety call for 2,250 traffic crashes, 575 injuries and 13 fatalities during the 78-hour holiday period.  Last year, 11 people died on Georgia roads during the holiday period.  There were also 2,311 traffic crashes and 554 injuries recorded.


       Colonel Ellis reminds motorists to use extra care during their holiday travel.  “Plan your trips carefully, don’t drink and drive, and make sure your seat belt is fastened at all times,” he said.  “If you will be transporting children, take the time to make sure they are properly restrained as well.”


       Troopers are also participating in Operation C.A.R.E. for this holiday period.  C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort, is a program sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police to promote traffic safety through high visibility patrols.  Operation C.A.R.E. began in 1977 and the Georgia State Patrol has participated in each enforcement effort.   “Friday and Monday are typically the heaviest traveled days of the holiday period each year,” Colonel Ellis said.  “We want everyone to remember that safety must be a priority.”


       Colonel Ellis also reminded motorists that Operation Click It or Ticket and the 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. enforcement campaigns are also underway for the holiday period.