Thanksgiving Traffic Holiday Period



  (ATLANTA)—Georgia State Troopers and officers with the Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) will be out in full force this coming Thanksgiving holiday travel period in a high visibility effort to keep down the number of traffic deaths on Georgia roads.  Colonel Bill Hitchens, DPS Commissioner, said every available trooper and MCCD officer will be on patrol during the heaviest travel times of the 102-hour long holiday period.

            The Crash Reporting Unit of the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia State Patrol are jointly predicting 2,915 traffic crashes, 1,301 injuries and 20 traffic deaths on Georgia roads.  The holiday period begins at 6 p.m., Wednesday, November 22 and ends at midnight, Sunday, November 26.  Last year during a similar 102-hour holiday period, there were 2,760 traffic crashes that resulted in 1,227 injuries and 17 traffic deaths.

            “Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busier holiday periods of the year and that increases the traffic volume on our roads,” Colonel Hitchens said.  “With the volume also goes an increase in the chance for you to be involved in a traffic crash.  That is why our troopers and MCCD officers will be patrolling throughout the holiday period.” 

            Colonel Hitchens reminds motorists who will be on the roads during the holiday period to plan their trips carefully by allowing ample time to reach their destination, plan for rest stops along the way, obey the posted speed limit, don't drive if you have consumed alcoholic beverages, and make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained. 

            “Now through the end of the year is the period when we see a noticeable increase in the number of impaired drivers on our roads,” Colonel Hitchens said.  “Troopers will be keeping a sharp eye out for impaired drivers.”  The commissioner cautioned motorists to remain alert for impaired drivers on the state’s highways. 

              The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is also an Operation C.A.R.E. holiday period.  Operation C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort, is a program of the nation’s highway patrols that promotes safe driving on interstate highways during the holiday periods.  The program, sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, is now in its 29th year with a goal of reducing traffic deaths through high visibility enforcement and education across the United States and Canada.

            The highest number of traffic deaths ever recorded for the Thanksgiving holiday period was 43 in 1969 and the lowest was four in 1949.  During the past five years, 82 people have been killed in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period.  There have been 16,171 traffic crashes reported that have resulted in 5,727 injuries.

            The holiday traffic count is updated throughout the holiday weekend beginning Thanksgiving morning at the Department of Public Safety web site: