The Union Recorder

November 20, 2012

Troopers beefing up holiday patrols

From staff reports
The Union-Recorder

ATLANTA —  

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety reports that traffic fatalities in Georgia are higher in 2012 than they were at this point last year.

The Thanksgiving travel period begins at 6 p.m. today and ends at midnight Sunday. Traffic is expected to be heavy on Georgia roads throughout the weekend. 

Col. Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said Georgia 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.  

“We know from past experience that speed, alcohol, and failing to use seat belts are the primary contributing factors in fatal crashes,” said McDonough via press release. “By conducting concentrated patrols or holding roadchecks across the state, troopers, deputies and officers can intercept violators before they are involved in a serious traffic crash.”

Last year during a similar 102-hour period, the GSP investigated 466 traffic crashes across the state that resulted in 303 injuries and 13 fatalities, according to a GSP press release. Of the 11 fatal crashes investigated by state troopers, four of the crashes involved motorcycles and two of the traffic victims were pedestrians. Four of the fatalities traveling in passenger cars and trucks were not restrained, and two of the fatal crashes involved alcohol.

The holiday period is also part of the nationwide mobilization of Operation Click It or Ticket. 

GSP officials remind motorists to plan their travels carefully and allow plenty of time to reach destinations.  

“Anticipate traffic delays due to volume or a crash that blocks travel lanes,” McDonough said. “Also, be prepared should rain make driving conditions hazardous.”

The highest number of traffic deaths ever recorded for the Thanksgiving holiday period was 43 in 1969 and the lowest was four in 1949.