Troopers Urge Caution While Driving During July Fourth Holiday Travel Period

June 30, 2010

Georgia Department of Public Safety  - Georgia State Patrol 
For Immediate Release

NEWS RELEASE

(ATLANTA) - As motorists take to the roads this week for the July Fourth holiday travel period, the Georgia State Patrol is reminding drivers to plan their travels carefully, keeping safety as the number one priority.  In Georgia, the 78-hour holiday period begins Thursday at 6 p.m. and ends at midnight Sunday, July 4.

Traffic estimates from the Georgia Department of Transportation's Crash Reporting Unit and the Georgia State Patrol are for 2,072 traffic crashes, 999 injuries and 18 traffic deaths over the weekend.  Last year, there were 15 traffic deaths recorded during the holiday weekend.  One of the fatal crashes was alcohol related and eight of the fatal crash victims were not wearing a seat belt.  Three of the people killed were motorcyclists.

Colonel Bill Hitchens, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said Georgia State Troopers and officers with the Department's Motor Carrier Compliance Division will be patrolling during the holiday weekend with a goal of keeping the holiday traffic count as low as possible.  "Enforcement personnel will be concentrating their efforts to locate impaired drivers on our roads as well as speeders and motorists who fail to buckle up," Colonel Hitchens said.  "Our Troopers and MCCD Officers will be concentrating on the most common violations identified as contributing factors in fatal traffic crashes."

"Anytime a holiday period falls on a weekend, there is an increased chance of encountering an alcohol impaired driver as you travel," Colonel Hitchens said.  "Minimize distractions in your vehicle and be alert should you be forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision." 

Troopers and MCCD officers are also participating through the weekend in Operation Zero Tolerance, the nationwide mobilization against impaired driving.  Enforcement personnel will be conducting safety checks and concentrated patrols across the state aimed at intercepting impaired drivers before a traffic crash can occur.

The July Fourth holiday weekend is also an Operation C.A.R.E. weekend.  Operation C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort, encourages safe driving through high visibility enforcement of traffic laws and public education efforts.  The program among state highway patrols and state police agencies is now in its 33rd year and is sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. 

The highest number of July Fourth holiday traffic fatalities occurred in 1972 when 34 people were killed, and the lowest occurred in 1962 and 1984 when two people were killed.

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Contact Information: 
DPS Public Information Office