To ease traffic congestion statewide during the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) is suspending interstate highway construction-related lane closures from noon Friday, August 31 until 5 a.m. Tuesday, September 4. Lane closures will also be limited on major state routes that directly serve key tourist and recreation centers.
“Labor Day weekend is quickly approaching and we expect heavy traffic statewide as vacation travelers take to the roadways for a final summer trip,” said Georgia DOT State Construction Engineer John D. Hancock. “We are limiting construction and associated lane closures to make travel to Georgia’s lakes, parks and tourist attractions easier and safer for all.”
Georgia DOT reminds drivers that crews may still work in proximity to highways to address safety and maintenance concerns that may require some long-term lane closures. In addition, incident or emergency related lane closures could become necessary at any time on any route.
“In an effort to keep the number of traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities as low as possible, I urge drivers to slow down, drive alert and eliminate distractions,” Hancock said. “Buckle up, put down the cell phone and do not drive impaired. Focus on driving. As you gather this weekend with family and friends to celebrate the unofficial end of summer, make safety a top priority.”
In the event of a crash or breakdown, Georgia DOT advises motorists to never get out of the car on a freeway, unless your life is in imminent danger. If possible, pull off the road, turn on your hazard lights and stay seat-belted in the vehicle with the doors locked. For HERO assistance in metro Atlanta or CHAMP service on highways in other regions of the state call 511, a free phone service that provides real-time statewide information about Georgia’s interstates and state routes, including traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, and delays due to inclement weather. Callers can transfer to operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org.
GDOT reminds motorists that Georgia’s Move-over Law requires drivers to move-over one lane when a law enforcement, emergency vehicle or construction crew is on the side of the road and displaying flashing emergency lights. This includes moving over for Georgia DOT’s HERO and CHAMP units. If it is unsafe to move over, then slow down below the posted speed
Also remember that Georgia’s Hands-Free Law requires that drivers who use a cell phone must do it with hands-free technology – the phone must not be in their hand or touching any part of their body.