State Troopers Urge Caution in Holiday Travel

May 16, 2003

(ATLANTA)-Georgia State Troopers today urged motorists to carefully plan their travels during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday travel period. Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner and State Patrol Commander Colonel George Ellis said troopers will be targeting the leading contributing factors in fatal holiday traffic crashes: impaired drivers, excessive speed and occupant protection violations.

Traffic predictions from the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety call for 2,500 traffic crashes, 682 injuries and 21 fatalities during the 78-hour holiday period beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 23 and ending at midnight, Monday, May 26. Last year, 24 people died on Georgia roads during a similar 78-hour period. There were also 2,430 traffic crashes and 655 injuries recorded.

Colonel Ellis reminds motorists to use extra care during their holiday travel since the Memorial Day holiday period begins the summer travel period across the state. "Plan your trips carefully, dont 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."

Every available Georgia State Trooper will be on patrol Friday and Monday. "These two days are typically the heaviest traveled of the holiday period each year," Colonel Ellis said. "We want everyone to remember that safety must be a priority."

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.

Colonel Ellis also reminded motorists that Operation Click It or Ticket is also underway for the holiday period. The program is a national effort to increase seat belt use and save lives through enforcement. This wave of Click It or Ticket began May 19 and will end at midnight Sunday, June 1.