ATLANTA, GA— The Georgia State Patrol is urging everyone to celebrate the Independence Day holiday responsibly. Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said state troopers will patrol during the holiday period in an effort to keep the number of traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities as low as possible. This year, the holiday travel period is 102 hours long. It will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 30, and end at 11:59 p.m. on July Fourth.
Last year, the holiday travel period was 78 hours long. Troopers investigated 404 traffic crashes that resulted in 230 injuries, and six fatalities. In addition to the traffic crash investigations, 285 people were arrested for driving under the influence, while 9,082 citations and 11,967 warnings were issued.
State troopers remind drivers to exercise caution in holiday travels, no matter how short the trip may be. “Drivers should obey the posted speed limit, avoid distractions inside vehicles, and be courteous to other drivers,” Colonel McDonough said. “Careful planning is the key to a safe holiday weekend, and remember to put safety first,” he added.
This holiday period, the Georgia State Patrol is participating in the Operation Zero Tolerance campaign, a nationwide mobilization against impaired driving. Troopers will be working alongside sheriff’s deputies and police officers to apprehend impaired drivers. “People know driving impaired is illegal, yet they still take their chances by driving. Crashes caused by impaired drivers can be prevented, if drivers will take the initiative to not drive under the influence,” said Colonel McDonough. “Troopers will not hesitate to arrest an impaired driver, and tow their vehicle,” he added.
From July 1-4, troopers 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 educational outreach.
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.