ATLANTA—The Labor Day holiday weekend is quickly approaching, and the Georgia State Patrol is urging drivers to use caution as they travel across the state. “Traffic will be heavy as vacation travelers add to the normal weekend traffic flow, as many people take to the roadways for a final summer trip of the year,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.
The 78-hour Labor Day travel period begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, September 1, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Labor Day. Last year during a similar travel period, the Georgia State Patrol investigated 496 traffic crashes that resulted in 274 injuries and 10 traffic fatalities. In addition to traffic crash investigations, troopers arrested 320 people for driving under the influence while issuing 8,255 citations and 10,901 warnings.
“State troopers will be on full patrols, actively looking for unsafe drivers in an effort to keep the number of traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities as low as possible,” said Colonel McDonough. “As you gather this weekend with family and friends to celebrate the unofficial end of summer, make safety a top priority,” he added. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you travel:
- Do not drink and drive. If consuming alcohol is in your plans, designate a sober driver before you leave home. If you don’t have a designated driver, call a taxi, a rideshare, a friend, or family member to help you get home safely.
- Wear your seat belt. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up before you hit the road, no matter how short the trip.
- Obey the speed limit. Exceeding the speed limit reduces the amount of available time needed to avoid a crash.
- Avoid distracted driving. Refrain from performing any activity that may take your focus off of the road, such as texting while driving.
- Be courteous to other drivers. Stay alert of your surroundings and show common courtesy to other motorists and pedestrians on the roads.
- Properly install child safety seats. Georgia law requires children under the age of eight to be in either a car seat or booster seat suitable for their age, weight and height.
- Do not leave children and pets in hot cars. Get in the habit of regularly checking the back seat and back floor area for children and animals, each time you exit your vehicle.
This Labor Day weekend, the Georgia State Patrol will also be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort. This is a nationwide traffic safety initiative among state highway patrols and state police agencies where troopers and officers across the United States and Canada work together during holiday periods to reduce the number of traffic deaths through high visibility patrols and education.
The holiday traffic count will be updated throughout the holiday period on the Georgia Department of Public Safety Twitter page: https://twitter.com/ga_dps.