(ATLANTA) – The Georgia State Patrol and Motor Carrier Compliance Division encourage everyone to celebrate the Independence Day holiday responsibly.  This year, the holiday travel period is 54 hours long.  It will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 3, and end at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 5. This year also marks the second-year anniversary of the Georgia Hands-Free Law which became effective July 1, 2018.

Last year, the holiday period was 102 hours long. During the holiday period, State troopers investigated 571 traffic crashes resulting in 427 injuries, and 17 fatalities. Additionally, troopers and motor carrier officers issued 12,554 citations (1,369 seat belts and 282 child restraints), 16,846 warnings, and made 422 DUI arrests.  Since July 1, 2018, troopers and officers have issued 49,535 Hands Free citations.

“Despite restraints under COVID-19 guidelines, social distancing, wearing masks and timelines for re-opening states, motorists still plan to travel the roadways in celebration of the beginning of summer and family and friends will be participating in Fourth of July events.  The Department of Public Safety wants everyone to put safety first by following the posted speed limit, not driving while impaired, making sure all occupants are restrained, keeping your hands off of your cell phones, and adhering to social distancing guidelines, wearing masks when necessary ” said Colonel Gary Vowell, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.  

“State troopers and officers will be on high visibility patrols during the 54-hour holiday period.  Our goal is to keep the number of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities at a minimum, as well as discourage impaired driving,” he added.

This holiday period, the Georgia State Patrol is participating in the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, a nationwide mobilization against impaired driving, as well as the 100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) campaign. Troopers will be working alongside sheriff’s deputies and police officers to apprehend impaired drivers and crack down on aggressive speeders and distracted drivers.

“Crashes caused by impaired drivers can be prevented.  Motorists must take the initiative to plan ahead for their holiday activities by designating a sober driver,” said Colonel Vowell.

According to AAA, booking trends show Americans are making travel plans, though cautiously and more spur of the moment.  Car trips account for 97% and are the preferred mode of transportation, adds AAA.

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.

2018-2020 Hands-Free Totals attached.

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Contact DPS Public Information Office

(404) 624-7597