The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) and the Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) are urging motorists to practice safe driving habits this weekend as they travel to celebrate Labor Day, the last summer holiday. The holiday travel period begins Friday, September 2, at 6 p.m. and ends Monday, September 6, at 11:59 p.m.
“The Labor Day holiday signals the end of the summer travel season, and travelers will use the extended weekend to take their final summer trips,” said Colonel Christopher Wright, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. “Celebrations across the state will increase traffic on our highways. We encourage all drivers to practice safe driving habits to make it to their destinations and back home safely.”
To keep the number of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities as low as possible, Troopers and MCCD Officers will be highly visible during the 78-hour weekend patrolling interstates and secondary roads, looking for impaired drivers, speeders, distracted drivers, seatbelt violations, and unsafe drivers.
During the 2021 Labor Day holiday period, Troopers investigated 295 crashes, resulting in 11 fatalities and 190 injuries. The statewide total for fatality crashes was 14. Troopers also made 298 arrests for those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Here are some travel tips to keep you and your loved ones safe as you travel this weekend:
-Observe the posted speed limit. When you exceed the speed limit, you reduce the available time needed to avoid a traffic crash.
-Observe all traffic laws and signals. Traffic laws and signals exist for your safety; failure to obey them can result in crashes that may seriously injure or kill you or others. To follow the laws, you must first know and understand them.
-Do not drive impaired. Designate a sober driver, call a taxi, rideshare service, friend, or family member to get you home safely.
-Make sure everyone in the vehicle wears a seatbelt. Also, properly install child safety seats. Georgia law requires children under eight to be in either a car seat or booster seat suitable for their age, weight, and height.
-Show common courtesy to other motorists and pedestrians on the roads. Be mindful of your fellow motorists, especially the most vulnerable, pedestrians and cyclists. Stop at all stop signs, traffic signals, and crosswalks, and check your blind spots.
-Pay attention to large trucks and buses. Leave extra space when merging in front of these large vehicles, anticipate wide turns, stay a safe distance back, signal clearly when merging in front of or passing, and be patient.
-Do not drive distracted. Refrain from performing any activity that may take your focus off the road, such as texting while driving. On July 1, 2018, the Hands-Free Georgia Act became effective. It prohibits all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.
A link to the complete law can be found on the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety website at www.gahighwaysafety.org.
The Department of Public Safety will update the holiday traffic count at http://dps.georgia.gov and on all social media platforms throughout the holiday weekend.