The Georgia State Patrol and Governor’s Office of Highway Safety are warning motorists that state troopers and local law enforcement officers will be taking impaired drivers off state highways and roads during the July 4th holiday weekend.
State and local law enforcement officers will also be targeting speeding, aggressive driving, unbuckled drivers and passengers, improper child car safety restraints and other traffic safety violations during the 78-hour holiday period.
“A record number of people are predicted to be traveling during this holiday weekend.” said Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “With so many vehicles on the road, it is imperative that drivers buckle up, slow down and don’t get behind the wheel if you have been drinking alcoholic beverages".
Alcohol was a factor in almost 40% of the traffic deaths across the nation during the July 4th holiday period in 2015. There were 152 alcohol related traffic collisions that resulted in 98 injuries and four fatalities during from July 3-6 last year.
The 15 people killed in traffic crashes in Georgia during last year’s July 4 holiday period was one more than in 2014. The number of traffic crashes and injuries during the 78-hour holiday period last year also increased by 15%.
More than 660 people have already died as the result of traffic crashes this year in Georgia. The state remains on pace to match or surpass last year’s total number of 1432 fatalities, the first increase in traffic deaths in the state in a decade.
“The July 4th holiday period is one we generally see people consuming alcohol during their activities at the pool, lake, cookout and other celebrations,” said Blackwood. “If you plan on putting alcoholic beverages in your cooler, then make a plan to have someone drive you home.”
Blackwood urges all Georgians with cellphones to download the free GOHS DriveSoberGa app. The app will even dial the number of ride services and cab companies that will come and pick you up. AAA Tow To Go and Budweiser will be offering free rides up to 10 miles between July 1 and 6:00 a.m. on July 5.
For more information about the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, check out our webpage at gahighwaysafety.org, like us on Facebook at Georgia GOHS and follow us on Twitter at @gohsgeorgia.